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‘Heaven and earth’ must be moved to find Labrador fishermen; SEA-NL calls for SAR mission to resume

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, Sept. 20th, 2021

Marc Russell, left, and Joey Jenkins aboard the fishing vessel Island Lady that went missing Friday Sept. 17th. (Dwight Russell photo)

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador has called on the National Commissioner of the RCMP to immediately request that the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax, along with the Canadian Coast Guard, continue search efforts for two missing Labrador fishermen.

“We’ve asked RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki in her capacity as the lead agency in the now-recovery mission to order the resumption of the maximum level of search and rescue effort to locate the fishermen,” said Merv Wiseman, an outspoken search and rescue advocate and organizer with SEA-NL.

“As long as there’s a chance that these men may be found — and there is that chance — we must move heaven and earth to find them,” Wiseman said. “At the very least National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard should be compelled to resume their search on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. I’m appalled that the search and rescue mission was called off so early.”

Two men from Mary’s Harbour, Labrador — Marc Russell and Joey Jenkins — were aboard the 28-foot Island Lady that failed to return to port Friday evening. The JRCC and the Canadian Coast suspended search and rescue operations Sunday evening, handing over control to the RCMP as a recovery mission.

Some debris has been found, but not the fishing vessel. Labrador doesn’t have dedicated search and rescue resources, including aircraft or vessels.


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Sep 20, 2021

I will include a prayer tonight for your fishermen. Did they have families?

I would like to offer the RCMP and S&R teams what I would like to propose to fishing communities and Rescue teams along Atlantic coasts:

Rough seas are not uncommon along our coasts, so why not be better prepared to go out into rough seas with at least 1 or 2 hulls which are known to be safe in rough seas, and of better speed to allow getting out offshore and cover more water more quickly and safely?

I don't know of any fast and safe hulls now used. Solid fiberglass construction hulls have no floatation so they go down like a rock, unless floatation or sandwich…

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