3 fishermen rescued off Sydney by coast guard

Three fishermen were rescued after their vessel ran aground on Scaterie Island off Cape Breton.

Boat was taking on water, but rescue was 'textbook perfect'

The Canadian Coast Guard rescue vessel Spray was called out this morning. (Canadian Coast Guard)

Three fishermen were rescued from their grounded vessel in waters off Sydney early this morning, says the Royal Canadian Navy.

The vessel ran aground on Scatarie Island, about 17 nautical miles southeast of Sydney.

It crew sent out a distress call around midnight, said navy spokesperson Lt. Christine Hurov.

"It was taking on water, so the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre tasked 413 Squadron's Hercules and Cormorant as well as the Canadian Coast Guard ship Spray," Hurov said.

The Spray is a rescue vessel based in Louisbourg, N.S.

Smooth rescue

It took less than an hour to reach the stranded 45-foot longliner, said the Spray's commanding officer David Pink.

The Spray launched its zodiac toward the fishing boat and Pink said the rescue went very smoothly.

"It was almost textbook perfect," he said.

"The weather co-operated; everything worked for us the way it's supposed to and our experience and our training came together last night."

'Cold and tired'

The three crew members were "cold and tired" but otherwise in good shape when the zodiac picked them up, Pink said.

"They did all the right things," said Pink. "They were in their survival suits and they stayed on board until we got there rather than abandoning ship."

The fishing boat was left on Scatarie, but Pink said a salvage operation is in the works.

The fishermen were taken aboard the Spray to Louisbourg, from where they left for home.