Lost but not gone

As we sit in our comfortable office chairs or possibly at the helm of a fishing boat in an icy sea, the families of five Nova Scotia fishermen wait for a federal salvage operation to commence.

In the meantime, a private boat with four divers aboard is on its way to find the capsized 42-foot halibut boat that flipped over in 30-foot seas on Sunday night. The missing fishermen could very well be inside the boat.

I was just in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, for the Eastern Canadian Fisheries Exposition. I met fishermen from small towns all along the coast of southwestern Nova Scotia. Many of them came to the expo with their sons, daughters and grandchildren, and nearly all of them grew up on fishing boats.

That explains why all five of the crewmen aboard the Miss Ally were under the age of 35. Fishing is a lifeline for the towns that dot the craggy coast of this province. In Nova Scotia, children still eagerly follow their parents into the fishing business.

And while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police wait to make the call on a salvage operation, the Miss Ally drifts at sea, upturned and threatening to sink with her secrets.

We’ve lost too many fishermen and too many boats to pass up the opportunity to find out as much as we can from this accident. If the Canadian government has any interest in finding its own citizens and honoring their lives, it will snap to and do whatever it takes to salvage the Miss Ally.

About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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