Nova Scotia

2 people dead after fishing boat capsizes off Port Medway, N.S.

Two people are dead after their boat capsized not far from the shore near Port Medway, N.S., Saturday afternoon.

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre confirmed a man and a woman drowned

The search of the water and shore off Port Medway, N.S., lasted about three hours Saturday. (Submitted by Janet Clattenburg)

Two people are dead after their boat capsized not far from the shore near Port Medway, N.S., on Saturday.

The man and woman were aboard a three-metre crabbing vessel that overturned yesterday morning, according to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax.

Capt. David Burneau said the woman was found first on the beach but she was non-responsive. She was taken to a nearby hospital but pronounced dead, he said.

"Then, later, the gentleman was found near the vessel. Again, he was vital signs absent, non-responsive," he said. 

He said both the man and woman are in their 50s. 

The rescue teams on scene confirmed there was no one else on board, he said. 

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre brought a helicopter in to help with the search. (Submitted by Janet Clattenburg)

A search of the shore and water began just after 10 a.m. and lasted about three hours, Burneau said.

It involved RCMP, fire departments and the JRCC, which brought in a search and rescue helicopter from 14 Wing Greenwood.

Jim Stevens, who lives in nearby Mill Village, was one of the people who helped with the search.

"I looked and seen a boat half full of water, and the next time I looked, it was full of water and the next time I looked, it was upsetting. But I couldn't see anybody in or around the boat," he said, adding the vessel was about 100 metres from shore. 

Jim Stevens, who was involved in the search, said the whole community came out to help look for the victims, a man and a woman. (Submitted by Janet Clattenburg)

He said the water Saturday was very choppy.

"Three-foot swells easy ... so the waves were twice as high as the side of the boat," he said. 

Stevens said he's known the man who died for more than 50 years. "He spent all of his life on the water," he said. 

The whole community was out looking for the man and woman, he said. 

"It's a sad, sad day I'll tell you," he said.  

Barbara Parnell said the man is her cousin and was well-known within the tight-knit community.

"Everybody's feeling it here," she said. 

The man and woman were the only people in the boat, said Capt. David Burneau of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. (Submitted by Janet Clattenburg)