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RCMP suspends ground search ‘indefinitely’ for missing N.S. scallop fishers

Click to play video: 'Digby, NS residents apprehensive as search continues for missing scallop boat' Digby, NS residents apprehensive as search continues for missing scallop boat
WATCH: The search for five missing scallop fishers continued Wednesday, as ground crews, aircraft and small vessels scoured the coast for any sign of the crew and the scallop dragger that sank Tuesday morning. – Dec 16, 2020

Nova Scotia RCMP say ground search for the five fishermen missing off the coast of Delaps Cove, N.S., is suspended indefinitely due to unsafe weather-related conditions.

Police said on Friday they partnered with the province’s Department of Lands and Forestry to continue search efforts from the air.

In a Saturday news release, the RCMP said approximately 20 kilometres between Hillsburn and Morden were searched with the helicopters. “The search did not locate the missing fishermen nor debris from the vessel.”

Read more: RCMP suspends search for fishers missing off the N.S. coast due to incoming storm

The 15-metre Chief William Saulis foundered northeast of Digby on Tuesday, amid three-metre waves pushed by 40 km/h gusts and an unusually high tide.

The body of one man was recovered late Tuesday, but the search continued as crews said they were seeking closure for the other families.

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The company where the fishers worked, Yarmouth Sea Products, confirmed their names: Aaron Cogswell, Leonard Gabriel, Dan Forbes, Michael Drake and Geno Francis, and captain Charles Roberts.

Click to play video: 'RCMP lead recovery effort for scallop fishers presumed dead in Nova Scotia' RCMP lead recovery effort for scallop fishers presumed dead in Nova Scotia
RCMP lead recovery effort for scallop fishers presumed dead in Nova Scotia – Dec 17, 2020

Ground search has been suspended since Wednesday, as a heavy snowstorm was gearing towards Nova Scotia.

The Mayor of Yarmouth Pam Mood told Global News earlier this week that the suspension hit hard, as families of those missing need closure. While it happened for the right reasons, it slowed down the grieving process, she said.

“You cannot even put into words. The grieving process is the most important and I don’t even know if we’re there yet,” she said.

Read more: Nova Scotia group secures grief counselling as search for 5 missing fishers continues

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She said the town will work with the association, Workers Compensation Board and the Mental Health Foundation going forward, “to ensure everyone has access to the help they need.”

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