New Brunswick

1 dead, another presumed dead after fishing boat capsizes off Cape Breton coast

One man is dead and another presumed dead after a fishing boat capsized on the weekend off the Cape Breton coast. The vessel's captain, presumed dead, is missing after an overnight search.

Search for missing fisher suspended after 25 hours, JRCC says

CCGS Cape Roger, pictured in March, was part of the search for the missing fisher on Sunday. Halifax's Joint Rescue Coordination Centre later announced that the search had been suspended. (Name withheld by request)

One crew member is dead and the ship's captain is presumed dead after a fishing boat capsized off the coast of Cape Breton Saturday.

Four crew members from the Tyhawk fishing vessel were rescued from the water Saturday evening and taken to hospital. But one, identified by community members as Seth Monahan, died.

The vessel's captain, Craig Sock, is missing and presumed dead after an unsuccessful overnight search. Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax tweeted Sunday evening that the search had been suspended.

"Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and community," the rescue organization said.

The search for Sock had been hampered by bad weather on Sunday as freezing rain battered the region. Aircraft was grounded and only one coast guard ship, the CCGS Cape Roger, was able to continue the search throughout the day.

The Tyhawk belongs to the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, according to band councillor Ruth Levi.

Craig Sock, the captain of the Tyhawk fishing vessel, is missing and presumed dead after an unsuccessful overnight search. (Pauline Young/Facebook)

Levi said the boat and its crew left waters near the community early Saturday to fish snow crab off Chéticamp, N.S. It was the first day of the season.

Levi described the deaths as "a great loss."

She said Monahan was originally from nearby Metepenagiag, N.B., and had been living in Elsipogtog for many years.

He had two young children, she said. 

"Our condolences to the to the people of Metepenagiag on their loss too," she said. "We share the pain."

Levi described Sock as a "gentle soul" who loved hockey. He was known as "Jumbo" to his friends. 

According to Levi, a vigil was planned for Sunday evening at St. Ann's church in Elsipogtog. Mental health services are also being offered to help those who are grieving. 

"We are a strong community. We will support each other and we will support our children," Levi said.

The Elsipogtog First Nation posted a message from the chief and council on their Facebook page Sunday afternoon. 

"As our community comes to grips with this tragedy, we cannot help but to be reminded of the dangers our brave fishers face each year to support their families and communities," the statement said. 

"As all fishers understand and accept the inherent risks that come with their profession, nothing can ever truly prepare us for a tragedy such as this."

Former Elsipogtog chief Susan Levi-Peters said the tragedy has hit the tight-knit community hard.

"When I found out I cried for about an hour," she said.

"I just I just couldn't stop crying, a lot of emotions have been happening. And right now we still have one fisherman missing."

Levi-Peters said Sock had a "big heart" and despite his imposing size he was a "teddy bear."

Seth Monahan was originally from the community of Metepenagiag, N.B. (Seth Monahan/Facebook)

The JRCC got a call from the Tyhawk at 5:46 p.m. AT Saturday to say it was sinking.

The three surviving crew members were expected to head back home Sunday, according to Levi. 

A search is ongoing in the waters off the coast of Cape Breton for one of five people from the FV Tyhawk fishing vessel. A spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax said on Saturday the vessel was believed to be about 30 kilometres west of Chéticamp, N.S. (Google)