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West Prince County comes together as search continues for missing fishermen

Tignish and area residents gathered all along the cliffs at North Cape Wednesday, hoping two missing fishermen will be found.
Tignish and area residents gathered all along the cliffs at North Cape Wednesday, hoping two missing fishermen will be found. - Eric McCarthy

TIGNISH, P.E.I. - Close to 300 people gathered in St. Simon and St. Jude Church in Tignish Wednesday morning to pray for two fishermen missing at sea, their families and for the well-being of the young fisherman who made it safely to shore.

Prayers were also extended to those out searching for the missing men.

Close to 300 people gathered at St. Simon and St. Jude Church in Tignish Wednesday morning to pray for two missing fishermen and their families.
Close to 300 people gathered at St. Simon and St. Jude Church in Tignish Wednesday morning to pray for two missing fishermen and their families.

The Sept. 19 gathering was the second prayer service in 13 hours. A smaller crowd was in attendance for a hastily called service Tuesday night, when people were still learning about that afternoon’s tragedy off North Cape.

“Any time there is a tragedy, we need to come together to support one another,” said seminarian Walter Flynn who presided over the services.

A vigil light, which was lit during Tuesday’s service, will keep burning while search and rescue operations continue.

“I think it is very important that we show our friends and neighbours, although I might not be directly involved; I’m not a family member, but I can show support to those who are. I want to be here for you,” he described the feeling of the gathering.

John Handrahan attended both services and described them as a time to offer prayers for hope.

“It’s tough,” he described the sentiments, and especially for those families with someone on the water: It strikes pretty close. It could’ve been any boat.”

Several kilometres away, at North Cape, fishermen and community members gathered in hushed voices. Either sitting in their vehicles or standing on the cliffs, they kept their gaze on the water, some relying on binoculars for a closer look.

Ground search and rescue volunteers walked the shorelines on both sides of the North Cape point while fishing boats and Coast Guard vessels scanned the water. Two helicopters and at least two fixed winged aircraft also joined the search.

eric.mccarthy@journalpioneer.com

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