N.S. RCMP to resume aerial activity for 5 missing fishermen

(Top L to R) Aaron Cogswell, Charles Roberts, Daniel Forbes, Geno Francis, Leonard Gabriel and Michael Drake were the crew onboard the Chief William Saulis, a scallop dragger that is believed to have sunk while operating off the coast of Nova Scotia. Facebook, Background photo courtesy of Katherine Bickford

The RCMP said it will resume aerial activity for the five missing fishermen from the Chief Williams Saulis fishing vessel on Monday.

RCMP Air Services said the search will include approximately 100 kilometres of coastline from Digby Gut to Harbourville by helicopter.

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In the meantime, the Nova Scotia RCMP and the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) are currently in the planning stages to partner with the Canadian Coast Guard to provide a platform to assist in recovery efforts which will include sonar exploration.

RCMP said it will share an expected date for this activity once known.

“The waters are very violent and the current is strong and the waves are so high,” said RCMP Sgt. Andrew Joyce.

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“The sonar capabilities on the platform that we could provide is very much insufficient for those conditions. We’re hoping the Canadian Coast Guard will enable us to perform that function.”

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Joyce said police are searching for the boats in hopes of finding their bodies so they can be taken home to their grieving families.

The Chief William Saulis fishing vessel was carrying six men when it sank early in the morning on Dec. 15.

The body of one of its crewmen, Michael Drake, was recovered later that day. The other five men – Aaron Cogswell, Leonard Gabriel, Daniel Forbes, Eugene Francis and the boat’s captain, Charles Roberts – are still lost.

–With files from the Canadian Press

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