New Brunswick

Coast Guard ends search for missing fishermen

Two small northern New Brunswick fishing communities are grieving the loss of two fishermen following a boating accident in the wake of Hurricane Juan.

Two small northern New Brunswick fishing communities are grieving the loss of two fishermen following a boating accident in the wake of Hurricane Juan.

The 39-foot Evan Richard was headed to Goose Bay to fish scallops when tragedy struck late Sunday night. The boat was caught in storm conditions somewhere between Caraquet and Anticosti Island and capsized.

Captain Serge Leboutillier washed ashore on the island in good condition. But the Coast Guard has now called off the search for Eric Doiron and Marc Doiron.

The boat left the small marina in Bas Caraquet on Friday. It was loaded with fuel supplies fishing gear and lumber. The men planned to build a shelter to stay in while they fished.

That plan raised safety questions in the community. Eric Boucher wonders whether the heavy load made the boat unstable. "Everybody's talking about the captain. What's he doing going out in a boat with that much load there?"

Coast Guard officials have salvaged the boat but haven't found any signs of life.

From CBC Montreal September 29, 2003: Fishing boat lost in Juan's wake
From CBC New Brunswick September 29, 2003: Ship in distress still missing

Caraquet parish priest Father Serge Comeau says the families of the men are in agony waiting for news. "I called the family and I know that this morning some members of the family came to the church to find consolation with prayers because people try to help themselves in this situation."

As Boucher looks out to the sea and continues to search for answers, he says it will be a long time before the community can even begin to come to grips with the loss. "Oh yes, it's very sad here. We're all friends."