Stoney Island, Nova Scotia

The sinking of a mystery boat off Cape Sable Island late last week is being investigated by the RCMP drug unit.

The 10-metre sailboat was first spotted from the shore off Daniel Head Thursday evening and police were called Friday when locals noticed it was taking on water.

Felton Atkinson, a lobster fisherman living in nearby Stoney Island, was one of the first to notice the boat.

"It just came in the late time of year for a sailboat to be out on the water," he told CBC News on Monday.

"It anchored in close, in a spot that was away from the shoal. It seemed like they knew what they were doing."

Debbie Atkinson, Felton Atkinson's wife, said she was watching the sailboat through binoculars and saw two people dressed in dark, puffy clothes moving rapidly on the boat.

She said she was concerned for their safety because the sailboat rounded the point and approached the shore without its lights on.

Atkinson said members of RCMP federal drug unit came to the their home to take statements from the couple and showed her a picture of a boat that was similar, but not the same as the boat she saw.

"They did say there was some type of a connection between the two. Something was found from this boat that sank that was in correlation with a picture that they showed me of that boat," said Atkinson.

"They did say that the serial number they found on the motor wasn't North American."

RCMP said the vessel sank before members of the Canadian Coast Guard arrived at the scene and there was no sign of anyone on board.

In addition to RCMP divers, volunteer ground search and rescue team members were also combing the nearby shore for evidence.

No one has claimed ownership of the sailboat.