Image courtesy JRCC Halifax

International Effort to Rescue 31 from Sinking Fishing Vessel Off Nova Scotia

Mike Schuler
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March 3, 2021

An international search and rescue operation involving the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards and the Royal Canadian Air Force was successful in rescuing 31 fisherman from a disabled fishing vessel over 130 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia on Tuesday night.

The Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax notified watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard First District Command Center at 7:05 p.m. local time on Tuesday reporting that the 143-foot Canadian fishing vessel, Atlantic Destiny, was disabled, on fire and taking on water.

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing crew and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews sent to the scene to assist.

Meanwhile, a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-149 helicopter crew stationed in Nova Scotia hoisted six crewmembers from the vessel, and dropped off two search and rescue technicians to assist in dewatering.

The U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk crews hoisted another 21 fishermen between the two helicopters.

Image courtesy JRCC Halifax

All of the hoisted crew members were taken to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where they were transferred for any medical treatment.

The Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax reported Wednesday that the remaining four crew members and two SAR technicians were able to restore generator power to the Atlantic Destiny and that on board pumps were operating, but the vessel was continuing to take on water.

As of 8 a.m. this morning, the crews had ceased dewatering efforts and all six were transferred to the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Cape Roger.

The vessel owner is expected to coordinate any salvage efforts.

The Cape Roger will remain on scene to monitor the vessel.

The weather on scene was reported as 35 mph winds and 15-foot seas.

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