Nova Scotia fishermen show courage in search for lost vessel Miss Ally


The Miss Ally went missing about 120 kilometres southeast of Liverpool. (The Canadian Press)

With the Pope’s resignation announcement, Reeva Steenkamp’s murder  and Oscar Pistorius being charged in the case and his circus-like bail hearing grabbing the headlines, a sad story from Nova Scotia has not received the exposure it rates.

Last Sunday the fishing vessel Miss Ally capsized off the coast of Nova Scotia and crew members Billy Jack Hatfield, Joel Hopkins, Katlin Nickerson, Steven Cole Nickerson and Tyson Townsend have not been seen since. On Tuesday, only 48 hours after the incident, the official search was called off after it was determined no survivors were possible. However local fishermen undertook their own search in an effort to recover if not rescue the lost crew.

A joint operation involving Department of National Defence and Canadian Coast Guard crews had launched an extensive search for the vessel on Thursday morning after families and friends pleaded with authorities to keep looking.

Sadly when the much damaged hull was located no bodies were found under it, so the waiting goes on for the families.

One of those involved with the unofficial search was George Hopkins, whose son Joel Hopkins is one of the missing fishermen. He said  finding bodies would give him closure.

I admire the tenacity of the fishers who are determined to recover the bodies of their friends, family and colleagues.  My sympathies to all those who have suffered a loss in this terrible accident.

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