July 19, 2019 10:26 am

Search for 4 fishermen resumes in Labrador after floatplane crash

WATCH: Where the floatplane crashed in remote Labrador

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The search for four missing fishermen whose floatplane crashed into a remote Labrador lake will begin Friday after poor weather briefly delayed the efforts.

Seven men in total were on the fishing trip when the Air Saguenay plane crashed on Monday in Mistastin Lake, about 120 kilometres southwest of Nail, N.L.

The bodies of three men were found near the wreckage one day later.

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READ MORE: Labrador plane crashed in lake with Canadian and American passengers — RCMP

RCMP said the victims include a 47-year-old Newfoundland man acting as a guide and two Americans — a 67-year-old from New Jersey and a 66-year-old from Illinois — who were passengers on the plane.

Four others remain missing: 66-year-old pilot Gilles Morin, a 50-year-old guide from Newfoundland and two passengers, a 40-year-old from Indiana and a 38-year-old from Illinois.

A recovery team will start searching the lake today.

“A team of expert police divers, investigators and search and rescue personnel were prepared to be at the scene yesterday, but high winds and heavy rains prevented air travel,” RCMP spokesperson Jolene Garland said in a statement, adding that Mistastin Lake is only accessible by air.

A de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver floatplane, as seen on the Air Saguenay website.

Air Saguenay

Garland said the logistics of the operation have been complicated given the location, weather and mode of transportation required to bring the team and equipment to the site safely.

“The goal of the operation is to locate the remaining four occupants of the plane,” she said.

The Air Saguenay floatplane — a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver — left a wilderness fishing lodge on Crossroads Lake, just east of Schefferville, Que., on Monday morning for a day-long fishing camp on Mistastin Lake.

The plane did not return to the Three Rivers Lodge that night, as expected, prompting an emergency response.

The plane was spotted Tuesday morning, its tail sticking out of the water, by the Maritime Forces Atlantic.

The cause of the crash is not clear. Weather is not believed to be a factor.

READ MORE: Search underway for remaining 4 passengers after floatplane crash kills 3

Jean Tremblay, president of the small Quebec airline, previously told Global News that he thinks an error occurred during landing.

RCMP, however, could not say whether the crash occurred en route to the camp or during its return.

Tremblay does not believe the divers will find any survivors.

“The missing bodies are, I guess, under the water inside the fuselage of the plane,” he said earlier this week.

“That’s why we need to wait until the divers are there to confirm that.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is also investigating the crash.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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