All 31 members aboard a Canadian fishing vessel damaged by fire off of the coast of Nova Scotia have now been safely transferred from the ship.
According to the Canadian military, aircraft and ships responded to an emergency aboard the FV Atlantic Destiny at around 8 p.m. after receiving a report from the master of the ship of a fire on board, a loss of power and that it was adrift.
The scallop freezer factory ship had lost power and was adrift about 120 nautical miles south of Yarmouth, N.S., in heavy seas.
Lt.-Cmdr. Brian Owens said a CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter started removing non-essential crew from the Atlantic Destiny on Tuesday night, transporting them to Yarmouth.
“The U.S. Coast Guard has a helicopter on scene and once our helicopter clears the area will extract the remaining personnel,” Lt.-Cmdr. Owens told The Canadian Press on Tuesday night.
According to Ocean Choice, which owns the offshore fishing vessel, four essential crew members and two search and rescue technicians remained on the vessel until 8 a.m., when they were transferred via the Canadian Coast Guard vessel the Cape Roger to Shelburne.
“The safety of our employees is our top priority. It is what matters most to us,” said Martin Sullivan, CEO Ocean Choice, in a statement.
“Our hearts are with our crew and their families at this extremely stressful time. We are extremely grateful that there were no injuries resulting from the fire; and that all 32 crew members are returning safely to their families and loved ones.”
According to Lt.-Cmdr. Owens, the vessel also took on water and the crew have put on their immersion survival suits.
Ship sinks after damages
Early afternoon on Wednesday, Ocean Choice said the Atlantic Destiny vessel has sunk.
“While we are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our offshore fishing vessels we are extremely relieved and thankful that all of our 31 crew members were safely transported ashore and are currently in the process of reuniting with their families and loved ones,” said Sullivan in the new release.
The ship reported 8 m waves and 55-knot winds. According to Ocean Choice, coast guards and several offshore fishing vessels, came to the aid of the crew.
“The collective efforts of our crew and all those who came to assist the crew and the vessel resulted in the best possible outcome for this situation,” said Blaine Sullivan, president of Ocean Choice, in an earlier statement.
“We are sincerely thankful to everyone that helped ensure that every single crew member is safe and accounted for.”
The FV Atlantic Destiny was one of Ocean Choice’s six offshore fishing vessels, with its home port being in Riverport, N.S.
— with files from The Canadian Press.