Missing crewman presumed drowned after fishing boat capsizes

"The vessel shifted slightly, one of the crew members went down to the engine room to investigate and whatever happened was catastrophic," says coast guard official.

The Miss Cory sank 'in a matter of seconds' near Comox, B.C., on Monday afternoon

The Miss Cory capsized near Cape Lazo, east of Comox. (Dirk Septer)

One crew member is presumed drowned after a fishing boat sank "in a matter of seconds" near Comox, B.C. on Monday.

The Miss Cory, a 19-metre vessel, was fishing for herring when it went down around 4 p.m., according to the Canadian Coast Guard.

Troy Haddock, the agency's maritime co-ordinator, said a nearby boat saw the vessel "essentially disappear" in less than a minute.

The Miss Cory, shown here in Prince Rupert in 2016, capsized on Monday (Ash Kelly/CBC)

"The vessel shifted slightly, one of the crew members went down to the engine room to investigate and whatever happened was catastrophic. It rolled over immediately and sank," Haddock said Tuesday.

Four out of five crew members escaped and were rescued by the nearby boat.

It's believed the man who went to the engine room went down with the vessel.

Search called off

Haddock said multiple fishing boats, coast guard vessels and a helicopter searched for the crewman, but with no luck.

Rescue efforts were called off around dark and Haddock said the missing man is presumed drowned.

"If the individual did get out of the boat, he would've been picked up right away," the co-ordinator said, adding that the boat sank in about 260 metres of water.

Comox RCMP are now handling the investigation as a missing person case.

Haddock said an investigation into the cause of the sinking would be done by the Transportation Safety Board.