Nfld. & Labrador

TSB investigating Sarah Anne and deaths of 4 St. Lawrence fishermen

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the incident involving the Sarah Anne, the St. Lawrence fishing vessel that went missing from at sea, resulting in the deaths of four fishermen from the community.

Investigation expected to be completed within 450 days

The TSB will be investigating what happened to the Sarah Anne and its crew. (Submitted)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the incident involving the Sarah Anne, the St. Lawrence fishing vessel that went missing at sea, resulted in the deaths of four fishermen from the community.

The TSB says the investigation is a Class 3 investigation, meaning it will "analyze a small number of safety issues and may result in recommendations." 

The board said these kinds of investigations are generally completed within 450 days.

On its website, the TSB said the investigation will consist of three phases. First, investigators will examine the wreckage and site of the incident and collect any pertinent information.

Then, the board will complete any necessary tests in a laboratory and review records to determine the sequence of events before, finally, completing a report.

The investigation will be led by Shannon Pittman.

The Sarah Anne and its crew left early on the morning of May 25 to fish crab but did not return. The vessel was reported overdue about three hours after it was expected to return, and a search involving several boats and aircraft began.

The bodies of Edward Norman, 67; his son, Scott Norman, 35; and his nephew, Jody Norman, 42, were recovered the following day, along with several pieces of debris from the vessel.

The body of the fourth man, Isaac Kettle, was found by lobster fishermen Saturday in the area of Doughboy Cove, Placentia Bay.

It is known that the Sarah Anne didn't have an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, or an EPIRB, on board. The vessel had a two-way radio instead, as regulations didn't require it to have an EPIRB.

Transport Canada has told CBC News that planning was already in the works to make EPIRBs mandatory on all commercial fishing vessels outside sheltered waters, with the new regulations likely coming into effect within the next year.

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