Nfld. & Labrador

Companies, armed forces joining search for missing fisherman off St. Lawrence

Several companies and the Canadian Armed Forces have stepped up to try to locate a fishing vessel that went missing off the coast of St. Lawrence last week.

Tugboat, armed forces aircraft contributing to search for the Sarah Anne

The Keewatin, which is owned by R.J.G. Construction, is being outfitted with the proper equipment with help from Fugro GeoSurveys. (Submitted by Andrew Perrot)

Several private companies and the Canadian Armed Forces have joined the search for a fishing vessel that went missing off the coast of St. Lawrence last week after the Canadian Coast Guard concluded its search Wednesday.

R.J.G. Construction has partnered with marine surveying company Fugro GeoSurveys to find the Sarah Anne, as well as the lone missing crew member, Issac Kettle.

For Andrew Perrot, the company's vessel manager and a St. Lawrence native, the mission is personal. 

"We have been hit with tragedies over the years, when one goes down, one steps up. That's just the way it goes, we have to help each other and do the best we can do for the families and the town," said Perrot.

We are all hurting right now.- Andrew Perrot

The company's tugboat MV Keewatin is currently being outfitted with a winch and sonar and Perrot said he's hoping to have it in the water and ready to go by Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

As of now, they are planning on searching for three days.

"We are all hurting right now. It's an emotional time for everyone, the town is reeling and we have to do what we have to do for those families," he said.

Canadian Armed Forces called in

According to Churence Rogers, MP for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, the federal government agreed to a four-and-a-half hour flight on Saturday and two, four-and-a-half hour flights Sunday to aid in the search.

Rogers said he has not been updated on the Canadian Armed Forces mission but was aware of some fog in certain parts of the coast which might make it tougher for aerial searches. 

"We've been focused on really trying to exhaust every effort in searching to try and bring that gentleman home to his family. His mom, his wife and other family members would love to see him home."

Andrew Perro says St. Lawrence is hurting right now, and they want to do everything to help the people find the missing crew member. (Submitted by Andrew Perro)

Issac Kettle's mother Aundriette Kettle has been vocal about wanting the search to continue.

When the coast guard called off the search on Wednesday evening, Kettle was devastated, and she said her son should be found, no matter the cost.

"How would you feel, how would any mother feel without their son? As far as I'm concerned, he needs to be home," she told CBC News on Thursday.

The bodies of the three other crew members Edward Norman, 67; his son, Scott Norman, 35; and his nephew, Jody Norman, 42,  were found on Tuesday.

Area MHA Carol Anne Haley said she and the premier have also worked to engage the Paul A. Sacuta, an Atlantic Towing supply vessel for the offshore oil industry, to help continue the search for Issac Kettle.

The Sarah Anne, along with its four crew members, did not return to St. Lawrence after leaving to fish crab Monday morning.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador