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Please sign petition for dedicated Search and Rescue Cormorant for Labrador out of 5 Wing Goose Bay

Labrador's entire coast is void of a primary dedicated maritime or air resource station to conduct search and rescue (SAR) missions — one of the largest areas in Canada without one. To help change that, please sign this petition to the House of Commons.

National Defence runs Canada's fleet of Cormorant search and rescue helicopters, including those based in Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gander. A petition has been launched to have a Cormorant based at 5 Wing, CFB Goose Bay for quicker responses to Labrador emergencies.

The petition was launched by Jeanette Russel, whose son Marc and friend Joey Jenkins were lost in September 2021 while fishing off Mary's Harbour, Labrador aboard the Island Lady, a 26-foot boat.

Russell and her family have also called for an inquiry into vessel safety.

SEA-NL passed a resolution at its founding convention in February 2022 that Fisheries and Oceans dedicate a primary Canadian Coast Guard ship to Labrador; and that National Defence assign a Cormorant helicopter to 5 Wing Goose Bay.

“For as long as the entire Labrador coastline is void of a dedicated Canadian Coast Guard ship, and a dedicated Cormorant helicopter to carry out primary SAR missions, the issue must top all agendas."

 Merv Wiseman, a member of SEA-NL’s executive, and outspoken advocate for stronger SAR services.

Wiseman and SEA-NL have also called for an inquiry into fishing vessel safety.

The federal Transportation Safety Board said in July 2022 that the Island Lady sank quickly with no warning, and did not have "any operable distress alerting devises" aboard.

No distress calls were received, resulting in delayed search and rescue efforts, and over a large search area — greatly reducing the crew's survival chances.


"Between 2015 and 2021, 15 similar occurrences were reported to the Transportation Safety Board, resulting in the death of 34 fish harvesters.

"In all 15 occurrences, distress alerting devices (e.g., emergency position-indicating radio beacons EPIRBs) and personal locator beacons were not used. In 11 of the 15 occurrences, personal flotation devices (PFDs) were not used either.

SEA-NL has said that an inquiry should investigate fishing vessel safety from four fronts — fisheries management, Transport Canada regulations, safety at sea, and search and rescue.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization serving as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters.

Reach me at

Visit to join or register for the Feb. 25th AGM in Gander.

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