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Coast guard ends search for two P.E.I. fishermen missing off North Cape

Searchers scour the shoreline at North Cape Wednesday, near the site where the fishing vessel “Kyla Anne” went down late Tuesday afternoon. One crew member swam to safety but two others remain missing.
Searchers scour the shoreline at North Cape on Wednesday, near the site where the fishing vessel Kyla Anne went down late Tuesday afternoon. One crew member swam to safety but two others remain missing. - Eric McCarthy

NORTH CAPE, P.E.I. — The Canadian Coast Guard has called off the search for two P.E.I. fishermen who went missing after their lobster fishing boat sank off North Cape on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Captain Glen DesRoches, 57, and his longtime helper Maurice (Moe) Getson, 54, have been missing since the vessel Kyla Anne sank near the North Cape reef that afternoon.

A third man, 22-year-old Tanner Gaudet, was able to swim safely to shore.

The coast guard said in a statement that after over 33 hours of searching an area covering about 1,200 square nautical miles, the decision was made to end the search at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, no sign of the two fishermen was found and given that the search had gone on for approximately three times the survivability period for two people in the water without floatation devices, the difficult decision was made to end the search,” the statement read. “The next of kin of the two fishermen have been notified of this decision. Our thoughts are with them during this very difficult time.”

As per coast guard procedure, the incident has been handed over to the P.E.I. RCMP as a missing persons case.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax received a call at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday that the 40-foot fishing vessel with three people onboard had capsized off the coast near Tignish.

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Teleost, a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Cormorant helicopter and CAF Hercules airplane began searching the area where the two people were reported missing and continued the search throughout the night.

Additional vessels in the area tried to assist initially but very poor ongoing weather conditions prevented them from joining the search Tuesday night.

Local police and civilian authorities also began a search of the coastline in the area.

On Wednesday, the weather conditions in the area improved so more vessels were able to join the search efforts. The Teleost, Cormorant helicopter and Hercules airplane were joined by the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel Rocky Waters, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans rescue boats Alberton and Summerside, as well as a surveillance airplane from Provincial Airlines.

 The local members of the RCMP, Tignish Fire Department and Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR), and several volunteers from the community continued their search of the shoreline throughout the day.

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