WOODS HARBOUR - The formal search for five missing Shelburne County fishermen has been called off, but local fishermen are continuing to search.
Any hope of survival has ‚Äúdiminished significantly due to frigid water and poor weather conditions‚ÄĚ says a statement issued by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. The search officially ended Tuesday night at 6.
Although search efforts have ended and rescue officials say there is almost no hope for the five fishermen lost since Sunday night, some in the community are pleading to have the search extended another day.
Despite there being the slimmest of hopes, many want the search for the captain and crew of the Miss Ally resumed. There are also reports that a local boat, the Vicious Fisher, headed out to the search area during the night and will be searching the area, despite the fact official efforts have ended.
"All our thoughts and prayers are with the fishermen's friends and families," said Captain Doug Kierstead of the JRCC.
The search is being turned over to the RCMP as a missing persons case.
Joint Task Force Atlantic offered sincere condolences to the families of the missing fishermen.
Officials made the decision to end the search at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
The ships and planes involved in the search were heading back to their bases. A spokesperson said that 24 hours is normally considered the longest someone can survive in immersion suits.
High seas and strong winds made search efforts a challenge. Hurricane force winds, near zero visibility and waves reaching 10 metres were reported in the early hours of the search. Those conditions improved, but waves of six metres were still hampering searchers on Tuesday.
The search for the 45-foot Miss Ally began Sunday night after an emergency locator beacon was activated at 11:06 p.m.
A life raft, spotted the next morning by and aircraft, has not been seen since. The hull of the capsized vessel was also spotted twice by aircraft.
Rescue Coordination Centre officials said all available resources were used in the search, which covered more than 7000 square miles off Nova Scotia‚Äôs south shore. A Royal Canadian Air Force CH-149 Cormorant helicopter, CC-130 Hercules aircraft, and CP-140 Aurora aircraft as well as the Canadian Coast Guard Ships William Alexander and Earl Grey were involved in the operation. A Department of Fisheries and Oceans contracted aircraft operated by Provincial Airlines, two United States Coast Guard aircraft as well as various merchant vessels were also involved in the search.