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RCMP continue search for missing fishermen, say unidentified debris found

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
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

The RCMP says it is continuing the recovery mission for five scallop fishers and a vessel missing off the Nova Scotia shore on Monday.

Police say helicopter crews did an aerial search of the coastline spanning approximately 100 kilometres, from Digby Gut to Harbourville. The search did not locate the missing fishermen nor the debris from the Chief William Saulis fishing vessel.

The 15-metre vessel foundered northeast of Digby last Tuesday amid three-metre waves pushed by 40 km/h gusts and an unusually high tide.

Read more: A painful wait for mother of Nova Scotia scallop fisher lost at sea

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

The remains found on Tuesday have not yet been publicly identified. However, the company where the fishers worked, Yarmouth Sea Products, confirmed the name of the fishers: Aaron Cogswell, Leonard Gabriel, Dan Forbes, Michael Drake and Geno Francis, and captain Charles Roberts.

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Nova Scotia RCMP said on Saturday that ground search for the fishermen is suspended indefinitely due to unsafe weather-related conditions.

Monday, RCMP suspended air search due to a lack of availability of a helicopter.

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

In addition, RCMP say debris was located on Saturday, unrelated to the air search conducted. It has not yet been confirmed that the wreckage is associated with the Chief William Saulis.

“It should be noted that materials routinely wash up and litter the shoreline making the task of determining fresh debris difficult,” read a news release.

RCMP say they are working with the Transportation Safety Board to determine if it is related to the missing vessel.

The board told Global News on Monday afternoon the investigation is in its early stages still and no new information is being released.

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