Fisheries and Oceans Canada: L’Acadien II-Update

2008-03-30 16:36:00

Fisheries and Oceans Canada: L’Acadien II-Update

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–( EMWNews – March 30, 2008) –

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard offer their deepest sympathies and most sincere condolences to the families and friends of the crewmembers of the L’Acadien II who were involved in the incident that occurred in the ice of the Gulf of St. Lawrence over March 28 and 29.

We are confirming that the RCMP is engaged in reviewing the incident because there are deaths involved. The Transportation Safety Board will undertake its own investigation.

For its part, the Coast Guard will conduct an incident safety review, which will include its current towing policy.

While these are difficult circumstances for family members and the crew, it is important that we not speculate on the incident. The various investigations will determine what actually occurred, and these will take some time. The Coast Guard is focused on carrying out its review and can confirm the following details.

On Friday afternoon, L’Acadien II, a fishing vessel based out of the Magdalen Islands, broke down in the ice northeast of Neil’s Harbour, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. In the early hours of Saturday, the vessel capsized while under tow by a Coast Guard icebreaker. At that time, the Department of National Defence tasked air resources to the incident.

Two of the six crewmembers onboard the L’Acadien II were rescued by one of two nearby fishing vessels, transferred to the CCGS Sir William Alexander, and then subsequently transported to the Magdalen Islands via Coast Guard helicopter where they were reunited with their families. Regrettably, three crewmembers died in this incident. Their bodies were later recovered and transferred to the Sir William Alexander. One crewmember is still missing.

The search was reduced late in the afternoon on March 29th and the case has since been transferred to local RCMP. The Coast Guard will assist the RCMP however it can. Coast Guard is grateful to the Master and crew of the F/V Madelinot War Lord for their invaluable assistance in the rescue of the two crewmembers, and to the North Sydney Fire Department throughout the incident for their support.

Given the operational requirements, the Coast Guard will continue to maintain its presence and support function for the seal hunt.

For more information, please contact

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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