Nova Scotia

Search underway for man believed missing on Digby County river

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the 48-year-old man was last seen jumping into the Sissiboo River.

DFO says man jumped into the water near Weymouth dam but hasn't been seen since

A search was taking place Thursday on the Sissiboo River for a 48-year-old man who was seen entering the water. (CBC)

A search was ongoing Thursday for a 48-year-old man who was last seen entering the Sissiboo River in Nova Scotia's Digby County.

Police said they were notified Wednesday night that Graham Cromwell, a lobster fisherman from Weymouth Falls, N.S., had entered the Sissiboo River near the Gates Lane crossing, but was not seen exiting the water.

A spokesperson for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said fishery officers on patrol encountered four people who were fishing on the river at approximately 9 p.m. AT.

"When fishery officers attempted to carry out an inspection, the four individuals fled on foot toward the nearby Weymouth dam and jumped into the water," said Lauren Sankey in an email.

"Fishery officers then located three of the fishers, but they were unable to locate the fourth."

Sankey said the officers notified the RCMP. 

A search of the area was being assisted by local ground search and rescue teams, RCMP canine and air services, as well as the provincial Department of Lands and Forestry and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

Police said Nova Scotia Power was also helping with search efforts, and the nearby dam was shut down Thursday at 1:30 p.m. AT. 

Margaret Smith, the missing man's cousin, said many people close to Cromwell in the community had also joined the search.

Smith said she was surprised that Cromwell, a survivalist and a strong swimmer, hadn't turned up.

"Graham's a very strong person and this just doesn't seem right," Smith said. "He's a sportsman. He loves to fish, he loves to hunt."

Sankey said there was "no evidence to suggest the [four fishers] were participating in rights-based fishing."

Investigators said it's possible Cromwell managed to get out of the river. RCMP has asked that anyone who has seen Cromwell to contact them at 902-245-2579 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

With files from Jack Julian