N.S. community grieves fisherman who went overboard on Boxing Day
Pastor says tight-knit community is quick to come together in times of tragedy
The community of Barrington, N.S., is mourning the loss of one of its residents who went overboard off Cape Sable Island on Monday during a lobster fishing trip.
The Coldwater Lobster Association, which represents lobster fishermen along the province's southwestern coast, announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday that Christian Lee Atwood went overboard during a trip on a vessel named the Little Weasel Too.
"A family devastated. A community is broken," the post reads. "May we all embrace Christian's family, friends and his fellow crewmen who will undoubtedly need our guidance and love."
The search effort for Atwood, 27, was called off at noon AT on Tuesday, according to spokesperson Lt.-Cmdr. Len Hickey of Halifax's Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, and was handed off to the RCMP as a missing persons case.
Hickey said the centre received a mayday call around 8:21 a.m. on Boxing Day. A Cormorant helicopter, a Hercules aircraft, the Cape Roger and Clark's Harbour coast guard ships were all dispatched to take part in the search.
'Everyone's hearts are heavy'
Pastor Derek Melanson, who leads the Temple United Baptist Church in the Barrington area, said in an interview that the tight-knit community is quick to come together to support its members in times of tragedy.
"So many people here, even if they're not fishermen, are connected to the industry … and so everyone's hearts are heavy when something like this happens."
Melanson added that while he didn't know Atwood personally, he expects Barrington residents to show up for Atwood's family and the crew of the Little Weasel Too.
"This is a community that, when these things happen, comes together quickly, comes together supportively, prayerfully, lovingly," he said.