Fisherman lauds Gulf of St. Lawrence rescuers
A fisherman who was plucked from the Gulf of St. Lawrence after his fishing vessel ran aground off Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula was full of praise Thursday for the crew who saved his life.
"[I] thanked them — don't know what to do without them," Dean Offrey told CBC News, recounting how the crew of a military Cormorant helicopter rescued him and fishing partner Ed Lawless on Wednesday night.
"It's a benefit [we need] here, right?"
The pair were aboard the Atlantic Endeavour when the vessel hit a shoal around 8:30 p.m. near Parsons Pond. They used a cellphone to call for help, and were patched through the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John's.
A Cormorant helicopter arrived on the scene around midnight, around 3½ hours later.
Although they were relatively close to shore, Offrey and Lawless prepared for disaster. They got inside a liferaft aboard the Atlantic Endeavour while they waited for rescue, but didn’t have to launch it.
"I didn't have time to think," said Offrey of the harried evening.
Offrey said the vessel ran aground because of a malfunction with their navigational tools, including the GPS. "All the electronics went out," he said.
A Hercules rescue plane out of Greenwood, N.S., circled overhead while a Cormorant from Gander winched the two men aboard.