Searchers hunt for boaters missing off Port Renfrew

Searchers are scouring the waters off Vancouver Island, near the town of Port Renfrew, after two fishermen failed to return home.

The men left waters off Vancouver Island Friday afternoon but failed to return

Searchers deployed a Comorant helicopter like this one and Buffalo turboprop airplane in the search for two fishermen who went missing on Friday. The search was called off today. (CBC)

Searchers scoured the waters off Vancouver Island near Port Renfrew Sunday after two crab fishermen were reported missing.

The men were last seen Friday afternoon in a three-metre-long pleasure craft, but they failed to return to a cabin where they were staying, coast guard spokesperson Dan Bate said in an email to CBC News.

The Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre is organizing search efforts by the coast guard and the Royal Canadian Navy.

Canadian Coast guard vessels, as well as a search plane and a helicopter from the Canadian Forces base in Comox, made several flights over the Strait of Juan de Fuca Sunday.

But the searchers found no trace of the men or their boat, navy Lt. Julie McDonald said.

Although the boat may have been missing since Friday, the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre did not receive a call until Sunday morning.

Day-long search

 "It was expected back on the 25th, it had not returned," McDonald said. "So when we were called out, we went and did multiple searches.

"Both aircraft crews had reached their maximum crew hours and unfortunately had to return back to Comox for rest."

The search is scheduled to resume Monday morning, weather permitting, McDonald said.

The area has been experiencing high winds and rough seas throughout the day. 

"The weather has been a factor today," McDonald said.

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