Time is running out in the desperate search for five Shelburne County men, whose fishing boat capsized in stormy seas Sunday night.
Joint Rescue Coordination Centre officials say ships and aircraft are continuing to search a huge area in hopes of finding the fishermen.
“Today the search is still active and expanding,” said Lieutenant Peter Ryan, of the Joint Task Force Atlantic.
Lieut. Ryan said a decision on whether the search would be continued would be made later today.
The spokesperson said 24 hours is normally considered the longest someone can survive in immersion suits.
“There are many factors involved, but that’s the general rule of thumb,” he said. “And we’re well past that now.”
Lieut. Ryan said the pilots and crews who are out searching for the lost fishermen from the Miss Ally are painfully aware that this is a difficult time for the families.
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“Our thoughts and prayers go with them,” he said.
High seas and strong winds have made search efforts a challenge. Hurricane force winds, near zero visibility and waves reaching 10 metres were reported in the early hours of the search. Those conditions have improved, but Lieut. Ryan noted that waves of six metres were still hampering searchers on Tuesday.
The search began Sunday night after an emergency locator beacon was activated at 11:06 p.m. about 125 kilometres off of Liverpool. The vessel had been returning from a halibut fishing trip off Sable Island.
A life raft, spotted the next morning by an aircraft, has not been seen since. The capsized vessel has also been spotted twice by aircraft.