Nfld. & Labrador

Search for missing St. Lawrence fisherman continues with local help and sonar equipment

The search for missing fisherman Issac Kettle continued on Thursday with the help of supply vessel Paul A. Sacuta, tug boat Keewatin and sonar equipment.

Search continues a week after official search ended

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

The search for missing fisherman Issac Kettle continued Thursday with the help of supply vessel Paul A. Sacuta, tugboat Keewatin and sonar equipment supplied by marine surveying company Fugro GeoSurveys. 

Kettle remains missing after the fishing vessel Sarah Anne sank off the coast of St. Lawrence during what was supposed to be its last crab fishing trip of the season in late May. 

The tragedy claimed the lives of three other men — Edward Norman, 67; Scott Norman, 35; and Jody Norman, 42 — all of whom were recovered in the initial search headed by the Canadian Coast Guard. 

But while the official search had been called off over a week ago, locals have kept the effort going. 

"Of course there's a great sense of sadness in the community, but there's also a great sense of hope," St. Lawrence Mayor Paul Pike told CBC Radio's The Broadcast on Thursday. 

"People are certainly praying for the Kettle family, praying that we find the boat and that we find Issac."

Pike said there had been no news from the search effort ongoing throughout the day, noting the Paul A. Sacuta left St. John's on Sunday night and has been searching the fishing grounds — about 37 kilometres from St. Lawrence — since arriving on Monday morning. Pike said the Keewatin joined the search on Wednesday. 

The four men were from St. Lawrence and aboard the fishing vessel Sarah Anne. (Submitted)

Pike said some debris such as plywood, buoys and personal items had been found previously, but nothing new on Thursday that he was aware of.

He said he hopes to know more by the end of the search day.

Support

The sinking of the Sarah Anne has been the talk of the town since it happened, according to Pike.

Pike said the close-knit community came together, some offering food donations, a fundraiser and support from businesses, including Ocean Choice International and mining company Canada Fluorspar, which have pledged help to the families.

On Thursday Pike attended the service for Edward Norman. On Monday he attended the service for Jody Norman.

"People are quite visibly upset. But not only the families. The families and the community," said Pike.

"As a community ... we're very resilient. We've faced a lot of tragedy in our past, and we'll get through this."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from The Broadcast

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