Nfld. & Labrador

Fisherman retrieves body of drowned Codroy-area man

One man is dead after he was unable to hang on to a boat that overturned off western Newfoundland.

The body of a 65-year-old man has been recovered from the ocean off Codroy, in western Newfoundland. 

On Tuesday, the man left to take part in the recreational fishery with two other people. But around 10 a.m. their small, Fibreglas boat started to sink, sending all three into the ocean.

The two men and a woman clung to the boat in the frigid waters for about six hours. But one of the men slipped away and died.

One man died in the ocean off Codroy, in southwestern Newfoundland, during a tragic fishing expedition.

Finding the body

Fisherman Roger Fowlow was on his way in from the water Tuesday evening when he got a call asking if he could look for the missing boaters. 

Fowlow said he was searching along the shore when he saw something floating on the water. He said at first glance he thought it was sun fish, but it turned out to be a body.

"When I got close my heart kinda went up in my throat and I thought, oh my God, we knew it was him, and you know, it was a bit nerve-wracking at first and something you don't expect to see, you don't want to see," said Fowlow.

"We had a job to do and we got the deceased aboard and proceeded to bring him in."

While it's not clear if the victim was wearing a life-jacket when the boat sank, Fowlow said the man was not wearing one when his body was found.

Police say a search involving local residents was not mustered until late afternoon, when friends noticed the three had not returned.

"So from that period of time they would have been either in the water or clinging to the vessel [for] six-plus hours," said RCMP Sgt. Dale Foote.

He said the two survivors were brought back to the community, and they are being treated in Port aux Basques for severe hypothermia.

"Even though the weather was 20-something degrees in Codroy Valley yesterday, we all know that the Atlantic Ocean tends to stay extremely cold, even at this time of year," Foote told CBC News Wednesday.

He added that alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the tragedy.