US, Canadian Coast Guards rescue 31 fishermen from sinking trawler in high seas off Nova Scotia

Photo: Joint Rescue Coordination Centre

The US Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Royal Canadian Air Force rescued 31 fishermen from a disabled fishing vessel over 200 kilometres south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the night (local time) of Tuesday, March 2.

At 19:05 on Tuesday, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax notified watchstanders at the Coast Guard First District Command Center that the 43-metre Canadian-flagged trawler Atlantic Destiny was disabled with a fire on board and was taking on water.

A US Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing crew and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews launched and arrived on scene.

A Royal Canadian Air Force CH-149 Cormorant helicopter crew from 14 Wing Greenwood in Nova Scotia hoisted six crewmembers from the vessel, and dropped off two search and rescue (SAR) technicians to assist in dewatering the vessel. A Canadian CC-130 Hercules, also from 14 Wing Greenwood, provided top cover for the operation.

The US Coast Guard helicopter crews hoisted another 21 fishermen between the two helicopters. All hoisted crewmembers were taken to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where they were transferred for medial assessment.

The remaining four crewmembers, and the two SAR technicians, ceased dewatering efforts and were transferred to the Canadian Coast Guard fisheries patrol vessel CCGS Cape Roger shortly after 07:00 on Wednesday, March 3.

Atlantic Destiny sank to the bottom at 09:36 on Wednesday as the area continued to experience 30-knot winds and eight-metre-high seas.

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