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Rough seas hamper search and rescue efforts in Nova Scotia

Staff writers
February 19, 2013 — Wintry weather has hampered search and rescue efforts for a Nova Scotia fishing boat carrying five fishermen.

Snowfall totals from latest storm
Snowfall totals from latest storm

As residents continue to dig out from a winter stom that blasted the Maritimes, rough seas are hampering search and rescue efforts for five fishermen that were aboard a now-capsized Nova Scotia fishing boat.

Two coast guard vessels and three aircraft have combed more than 18,000 square kilometres off Nova Scotia's southwest coast, said navy spokesman Lt. Peter Ryan. 

The find five fishermen from Barrington disappeared more than 100 km off the south shore on Sunday.

They were aboard a 13 metre vessel called the "Miss Ally," when they ran into rough weather.

An empty life raft has been spotted, and rescue teams are still picking up a weak signal from an emergency locator beacon that is believed to be floating near the overturned vessel.

It's unclear why the boat and the beacon remain unaccounted for.

Ryan said the likelihood that the men survived is dropping by the hour.

Even if they were wearing immersion suits, their chances of surviving more than 24 hours in the ice cold water are slim.

Rough seas hamper search and rescue efforts in Nova Scotia
Rough seas hamper search and rescue efforts in Nova Scotia

On Monday, heavy, blowing snow and hurricane force winds resulted in near zero visibility and dangerous driving conditions across the Maritimes.

RCMP recommended that drivers stay off the snow-covered roads as slick conditions lead to several collisions throughout the day.

Schools were closed across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, while residents in PEI were forced to stay close to home for Islander Day.

Maritimers faced a similar storm the weekend before, not leaving much time for clean-up efforts before this next winter wallop.

City officials say they've had a difficult time dealing with the back-to-back storms with crews pushed to their work-time limit.

The storms have also taken a toll on the power grid with significant damage including broken poles reported.

With files from The Canadian Press

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