After a 15-hour exhaustive search, officials say a 20-year-old lobster fisherman who fell overboard off the coast of Nova Scotia is "missing and presumed drowned."
Michael Jeffrey Doucette, of Wedgeport, fell from the fishing vessel Row Row on Saturday evening approximately 53 kilometres southwest of Yarmouth.
The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax said they received a call for help around 6:45 p.m. By that time Doucette had been missing for an hour.
Lt.-Cmdr. Bruno Tremblay, a spokesman for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, said both a Cormorant helicopter and a Hercules aircraft were sent to the scene along with two coast guard ships.
"The Hercules used more than 100 flares to make sure the searching area was illuminated at all times," he said.
Police said another 20 to 30 local fishing boats joined the search overnight.
"Unfortunately at 9 o'clock this morning, the decision was made to stop the search for this individual since the survival model was far exceeded," said Tremblay.
"It was sad, it's always a tough decision when we have to inform the family that we must stop the search."
Tremblay said the weather conditions were clear, but it appears the man was not wearing survival gear when he went overboard.
With the search teams sent home, Tremblay said the investigation into the incident is now in the hands of the RCMP.