Condolences pour in for NS fisherman lost at sea: “It’s heartbreaking” | PKBNEWS

A Nova Scotian community, along with residents and fishers across the province and beyond, are mourning a fisherman who went missing at sea after what was described as a “freak accident.”

The man, whom RCMP have identified as Christian Atwood, 27, of Barrington, is believed to have drowned after falling overboard on Boxing Day about 11 kilometers south of Cape Sable Island , just off the southernmost tip of the province.

The Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Center received a distress call for a man overboard at 8:21 a.m. that day.

A Cormorant helicopter, a Hercules aircraft, two Canadian Coast Guard ships and at least a dozen other vessels, including fishing boats, assisted in the search, but it was called off at noon Tuesday after they n couldn’t locate it.

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The RCMP have now taken over the investigation and are treating it as a missing person case, according to spokesperson Cpl. William Tremblay.

“Investigators do not believe the incident is suspicious in nature,” he said in a statement. “A missing persons investigation will remain open until the remains of Christian Atwood are found.”

Police have identified Christian Atwood, 27, as the fisherman who went overboard off Cape Sable Island on Boxing Day.

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In a Facebook post, the Atlantic Canada Fishermen’s Association said Atwood leaves behind his girlfriend, Kristen, and 14-month-old son, Colson.

He said Atwood was fishing lobster on Monday morning aboard the vessel Little Weasel II in the Outer Island and Green Island area on Boxing Day.

In a “freak accident,” the statement said, Atwood was snagged on a line and pulled under while setting down a lobster trawl. The association said he was wearing his mandatory personal flotation device, but it “let him down”.

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The statement also wished a speedy recovery to the ship’s captain, who suffered a heart attack and was recently transferred to Halifax.

“Christian’s family would like to thank everyone for their prayers at this time and ask for continued prayer to bring him home,” the statement read.

The association also shared a trust account for Atwood’s son. Donations can be made to [email protected]

“Relates to so many Nova Scotians”

In an interview, Matthew Duffy, the executive director of Fish Safe NS, said he had a “heavy feeling” in the bottom of his stomach when he heard the news of the missing fisherman – and he knows it It was a sensation felt by many in the fishing community and their families across the province.

“It’s heartbreaking, honestly. In my work here, I’ve unfortunately come across a lot of families who have found themselves in this exact situation that Christian’s family is now facing,” he said.

“It’s very, very difficult. It’s not an easy time.

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Fish Safe NS is a non-profit organization that promotes safety within the fishing industry.

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Duffy said the organization was working to arrange free bereavement counseling services in the Barrington and Clark’s Harbor areas for those affected by the tragedy.

The group began offering advice after the sinking of the Chief William Saulis two years ago, which killed six fishermen and left communities in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador grappling with their deaths.

“It’s an avenue to help them because in that situation you have a lot of thoughts and feelings floating around and trying to process that is quite difficult,” he said.

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Noting that fishing is a dangerous profession, Duffy said every time a tragedy like this happens it has far-reaching impacts.

“I would say everyone from Yarmouth to Neil’s Harbor and everywhere in between around Nova Scotia and probably even beyond – when I say everyone has them in mind, I really believe that because it’s something that affects so many people,” he said. said.

“It’s so connected to so many Nova Scotians, unfortunately.”

He added that in the aftermath of these disasters, communities across Nova Scotia are “really coming together” to help those affected.

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“They lean on each other, they support each other, and I’m sure that’s definitely still the case,” he said. “As Nova Scotians, in general, we want to help our neighbours.”

— with files from The Canadian Press

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