Nova Scotia

Boater missing after alleged altercation with larger boat

Cape Breton RCMP have seized a boat they say may be linked to the disappearance of a man from a small fishing village.

Phillip Boudreau, 43, last seen Saturday in Petit-de-Grat, Nova Scotia

Police divers have spent two days searching the water for Phillip Boudreau. (CBC)

Cape Breton RCMP have seized a boat they say may be linked to the disappearance of a man from a small fishing village.

Phillip Boudreau was last seen on his boat in Petit-de-Grat harbour early Saturday morning. His five-metre fibreglass motor boat was found capsized and empty about an hour after he was last seen in it alive. The motor was missing as well.

Police say they believe the 43-year-old man was involved in an altercation with a larger boat. On Sunday, police seized another boat called Twin Maggies and started questioning the people who were on board the day Boudreau disappeared.

"It's touching everybody I know," said Phil Benoit, who lives in the community.

Benoit said many people in the area are wondering what happened to Boudreau.

RCMP seized the Twin Maggies as part of their investigation into Phillip Boudreau's disappearance. (CBC)

Several people told CBC reporter Wendy Martin that Boudreau was known to fish without a licence.

"We're still following up on a few leads to determine exactly what he was doing out there and how maybe the altercation was generated," said RCMP Sgt. Mark MacPherson.

"Nobody had a good word for him," said Venard Samson, who found Boudreau's overturned boat. "The man didn't work and he needed money."

Boudreau has a criminal record. In 2003, he received a five-year sentence for several break and enter charges as well as possession of stolen property charges.

"I know he made me suffer quite a bit, but that's things passed by," said Samson, who is also a fisherman. "He loved the water, so he was always on the water."

RCMP said divers will continue to search for Boudreau while they investigate what happened.

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