A search and rescue mission is underway about four kilometres southeast of Canso, N.S., to find the captain of a fishing vessel that ran aground on rocks.

The military's Joint Task Force Atlantic said it received a distress call from the vessel at 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Three of the four crew members were rescued when another fishing boat came to help, but the fourth person — the captain — stayed on the stranded vessel. There has been no communication with the captain since.

Joint Task Force Atlantic said a Hercules military aircraft has been deployed to the scene to watch over the fishing vessel. A Canadian Coast Guard vessel had been on scene. It left and another vessel is on its way. 

Concern for captain

The three people who were rescued appeared to be in good shape, Joint Task Force Atlantic said.

Canso vessel

A fishing vessel is shown aground on the Frying Pan Shoal off Canso, N.S. (Submitted by Coady Robert Avery)

Nelson Harnish, who lives outside Canso, said people in the community are concerned about the captain. Harnish drove down to the government wharf last night to see the rescue.

"According to the crew, the captain was kind of not himself," Harnish said. "They couldn't get him to respond to getting out of the boat. He just kept saying he was going fishing.

"How come they're not going aboard and not looking for this guy that's on there?"