Two men dead after fishing boats collide near Murray Harbour, P.E.I.
Published Saturday, June 9, 2018 6:02PM ADT
Last Updated Sunday, June 10, 2018 6:55PM ADT
Montague RCMP have confirmed two men have died after two lobster boats collided Saturday morning off the shores of southwestern Prince Edward Island.
RCMP say that the collision occurred shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday.
Officers say one of the boats was on its way back to shore and smashed into another boat that was buoyed about nine kilometres off the coast of Beach Point, P.E.I.
Officers say one of the boats came back to shore and the other one partially sank. There were eight crew members total between two boats, including the men that died.
Both of the deceased men were on the same boat. The extent of the injuries of the rest of the crew is unknown at this time.
RCMP haven't released the names of the men to the public but the families have been notified.
People in the community are already looking for ways to help those families deal with the tragic loss.
Montague resident Tanya Ann Snook set up a GoFundMe page Saturday after hearing the news.
"It's affected everybody in some way or form, because if they're not fishermen themselves, they know people who fish," says Snook.
Snook says one of the deceased men, Justin MacKay, was like a nephew to her.
"He was funny, he always made people laugh. He just had a way about him to make people laugh." says Snook from her home in Montague, P.E.I. "One of the things I always remember about him was his smile; he had the biggest smile and was always smiling. He was such a great kid."
Tragically, the second victim was part of a group of passengers, who simply had gone along for the ride.
"They were on the boat, just for the day. They'd never been on a boat before, it was just an experience for them," explains Snook.
Now, the community and many others are coping with the loss, and doing what they can to help.
RCMP say the investigation is still in the early stages, as RCMP continue to work with officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Canadian Coast Guard and Occupational Health inspectors.
There is no word yet on whether charges will be filed.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron Cadloff.