Nova Scotia townspeople to search for missing fishermen

A C-130 Hercules is involved in the search for missing NS fishermen.



BRIDGEWATER, N.S. - The tiny town of Wood's Harbour, N.S., is banding together to find their young men lost at sea.

Five fishermen - Katlin Nickerson, Billy Jack Hatfield, Joel Hopkins, Cole Nickerson and Tyson Townsend -- are missing and presumed drowned after their boat, the Miss Ally, capsized in rough seas Sunday night near Sable Island.

The men's families fear their bodies are trapped in the wheelhouse of the overturned boat and want divers to recover them for a proper funeral.

"I'm sure if that were Harper's son out there, they would have had the bodies out by now," George Hopkins, father of Joel, told QMI Agency. "I was so proud of what the coast guard did, they called in the Americans and used the best technology to try and find them, but then they kinda dropped the ball."

Hopkins said other townspeople with boats are taking the search into their own hands because they don't want to risk the vessel sinking with the bodies still trapped.

"They have volunteered to go from (the community of) Eekum Seekum, and more boats are leaving from this area and trying to round up divers."

The men were about 120 km off the shore of Liverpool, N.S., fishing for halibut on Sunday night when they hit hurricane-force winds and 10-metre-high waves in their 13-metre long boat.

Late Thursday, the RCMP and the Department of National Defence agreed to send a military plane out to see if the yellow hulled vessel is still visible from the air.

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