Wheelhouse gone, no bodies found say divers

Amy
Amy Woolvett
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Divers are reporting that the wheelhouse and sleeping quarters are missing from the boat.

by Amy Woolvett and Kathy Johnson

Private divers performed a search of the Miss Ally on Saturday afternoon but reported back that nothing was found.

“The wheelhouse was gone,” said George Hopkins, father of Joel Hopkins, one of the five fishermen who went missing on the Miss Ally last Sunday.

The divers did a thorough search of the engine room as well.

Hopkins was unsure whether survival suits were found aboard the boat.

“This all happened so quickly,” he said.

RCMP say that at 6 p.m. the captain of a private fishing vessel, Slave Driver, reported to the crew of the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel, the Sir William Alexander, that divers visually confirmed that no wheelhouse, or sleeping quarters were attached to the hull of the Miss Ally and that no bodies were located. 

 The divers reported that the vessel had sustained major damage.

RCMP Superintendent Sylvie Bourassa-Muise, District Policing Officer, Southwest Nova Scotia said,  “On behalf of RCMP and Department of National Defence and Canadian Coast Guard, we express our deepest sympathies to the families.”

 The HMCS Glace Bay remains on route to the site of the Miss Ally, with augmentation from Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic). The ship is expected to arrive in the area overnight and will conduct a remotely operated vehicle underwater (ROV) assessment of the Miss Ally in the morning in an effort to gather more information and photos from the vessel. 

 Joint Task Force Atlantic will continue to support the RCMP's request for air surveillance and maintain air coverage of the scene until further notice. 

  ”They have returned to their boat now and are on the way back to shore.”

A buoy line had been attached to the Miss Ally by the divers before they left the scene.

Supt. Bourassa-Muise said there is a plan in place that will be carried out in the morning, but was not at liberty to release to details. “Our mandate continues to be a missing persons investigation,” said Supt. Bourassa-Muise, adding the case will remain an open and active investigation.

Supt. Bourassa-Muise called the “massive recovery effort” that was undertaken over the past week an “unprecedented event.”

Supt. Bourassa-Muise called the recovery operation a “collaborative effort” between the families, the community, and the RCMP’s federal partners. “We are very thankful for their efforts in assisting the RCMP,” she said.

The RCMP mobile command unit was to move  out of the community on Sunday but RCMP officers will still be available to support the families and the community, said Supt. Bourassa-Muise.

 

Organizations: RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard, Department of National Defence

Geographic location: Southwest Nova Scotia, HMCS Glace Bay

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  • josh himmelman
    February 27, 2013 - 10:16

    gonna miss all you boys... billy as a next door neighbor ive looked up to you over the years even though u were older. kat u were a wonderful friend throughout high school and we had some good times especially at safe grad. rest in peace to you all and may you find safer waters.

  • Wanda MacIntosh
    February 24, 2013 - 18:01

    Lord, I come to you now for our friends of The Miss Ally and there families left behind. I come to you to ask that you provide them strength and comfort in this time of deep need. Their hurt and grief run so deep. I feel so much pain for them, but I can only imagine how hard this time must be for them. I pray that you help them maintain their faith in you during this difficult time. I know you can be our greatest shoulder, but I also ask that you remain their biggest provider. It is a time when daily life can be so burdensome. Please provide patience from others as they work through their grief. Surround them with understanding so that they can work through all the emotions this loss brought up. In this time when so many things get lost - bills need to be paid, homework needs to be done, etc. - allow those around them to help keep regular life on track. And Lord, allow me to be a comfort to my friend through your loving prayers. Help me be what they need during this time. Provide me with the comforting words, the kindness in my heart, the patience to allow the grief to take it's course. Let me be part of your light and comfort during this time. I pray these things in your holy name. Amen.

  • Billy Akpik
    February 24, 2013 - 15:22

    Our sincere condolences to all the families affected!!! May god give you the strength to over come this tragedy and continue remembering loved ones lost!!!

  • Cheryl O 'Brien
    February 24, 2013 - 12:29

    "THE TRAGEDY OF MISS ALLY From the very beginning that news reports indicated five young and precious fishermen were missing in the Atlantic, my heart and my every prayer had been with each and every one of them. Five young lives committed themselves to hard work and honour and the peril they knew they faced, every time their fishing vessel, Miss Ally set sail on yet another fishing expedition, upon the sea. They worked hard and honourably, working bravely and diligently, doing what they loved to do and doing what they loved the most. Their families were always left behind every time, that they would sail out to sea, with the love in the hearts from their mothers and their fathers, their sons and their daughters, their brothers and their sisters, their aunts and their uncles and their grandmothers and their grandfathers, and all who loved them. With a prayer in their hearts, they would be watching them leaving from the safety of the ocean's shores, sailing off, yet once again, with a prayer in their hearts that they would safely return back home. All who had come to know the plight of those five young hearts, who were missing, and in peril upon a raging and stormy sea, had adopted each and every one in their hearts, as their very own. Praying for a miracle that they had reached the safety of a liferaft with the food and the water to sustain them, until they were safely found. Still there was nothing to be found in the miracle of a liferaft, that would carry them all safely together, to finding their way, to reaching home. And now sadly and tragically, their fishing vessel has been found, with no safety intact of the sleeping quarters that might still have held them, safely there, on board Miss Ally. We will ask ourselves the questions that everyone will ask and no one can find the answers to find the reasons why? We live in an imperfect world, where suffering and pain are also a part of life's joy, where gifts of life are given, and gifts of life can be suddenly and tragically, taken away. There were five young men, with their hearts and their will to survive, but the uncertainty of life has sadly and tragically, taken them all away. It was never God who had taken them away, it was the imperfection of life, that allowed the perilous sea to gather them all together and take them to their final home. There were five young lives upon that fishing vessel on the sea, but the mighty hands of God were there to bring them comfort and peace, as He gathered each and every one of them, together, and carried them all safely home. They are now, all safely home and at peace, in God's hands and free from the suffering and the pain of life. Their loving families have been left behind, to suffer their heartbreaking loss and their pain. The open seas in Heaven, is where they will all meet once again, on the safe shores of a mighty sea, where only peace and safety will be there to guide them, in sailing the peaceful and the calmed seas together and forever .May all of their families rest in the peace, that they will meet once again on the calmed shores of the mighty sea, with their safety and peace and their eternal freedom, forever there, with God forever guiding their way. May God bless every family member and may they find the comfort and peace, in knowing that every heart and every prayer was there in the stormy and the raging seas with your loved ones, and are still, and forever with them, too.............

  • Cheryl O 'Brien
    February 24, 2013 - 12:27

    "THE TRAGEDY OF MISS ALLY From the very beginning that news reports indicated five young and precious fishermen were missing in the Atlantic, my heart and my every prayer had been with each and every one of them. Five young lives committed themselves to hard work and honour and the peril they knew they faced, every time their fishing vessel, Miss Ally set sail on yet another fishing expedition, upon the sea. They worked hard and honourably, working bravely and diligently, doing what they loved to do and doing what they loved the most. Their families were always left behind every time, that they would sail out to sea, with the love in the hearts from their mothers and their fathers, their sons and their daughters, their brothers and their sisters, their aunts and their uncles and their grandmothers and their grandfathers, and all who loved them. With a prayer in their hearts, they would be watching them leaving from the safety of the ocean's shores, sailing off, yet once again, with a prayer in their hearts that they would safely return back home. All who had come to know the plight of those five young hearts, who were missing, and in peril upon a raging and stormy sea, had adopted each and every one in their hearts, as their very own. Praying for a miracle that they had reached the safety of a liferaft with the food and the water to sustain them, until they were safely found. Still there was nothing to be found in the miracle of a liferaft, that would carry them all safely together, to finding their way, to reaching home. And now sadly and tragically, their fishing vessel has been found, with no safety intact of the sleeping quarters that might still have held them, safely there, on board Miss Ally. We will ask ourselves the questions that everyone will ask and no one can find the answers to find the reasons why? We live in an imperfect world, where suffering and pain are also a part of life's joy, where gifts of life are given, and gifts of life can be suddenly and tragically, taken away. There were five young men, with their hearts and their will to survive, but the uncertainty of life has sadly and tragically, taken them all away. It was never God who had taken them away, it was the imperfection of life, that allowed the perilous sea to gather them all together and take them to their final home. There were five young lives upon that fishing vessel on the sea, but the mighty hands of God were there to bring them comfort and peace, as He gathered each and every one of them, together, and carried them all safely home. They are now, all safely home and at peace, in God's hands and free from the suffering and the pain of life. Their loving families have been left behind, to suffer their heartbreaking loss and their pain. The open seas in Heaven, is where they will all meet once again, on the safe shores of a mighty sea, where only peace and safety will be there to guide them, in sailing the peaceful and the calmed seas together and forever .May all of their families rest in the peace, that they will meet once again on the calmed shores of the mighty sea, with their safety and peace and their eternal freedom, forever there, with God forever guiding their way. May God bless every family member and may they find the comfort and peace, in knowing that every heart and every prayer was there in the stormy and the raging seas with your loved ones, and are still, and forever with them, too.............

  • Cheryl O 'Brien
    February 24, 2013 - 12:24

    "THE TRAGEDY OF MISS ALLY From the very beginning that news reports indicated five young and precious fishermen were missing in the Atlantic, my heart and my every prayer had been with each and every one of them. Five young lives committed themselves to hard work and honour and the peril they knew they faced, every time their fishing vessel, Miss Ally set sail on yet another fishing expedition, upon the sea. They worked hard and honourably, working bravely and diligently, doing what they loved to do and doing what they loved the most. Their families were always left behind every time, that they would sail out to sea, with the love in the hearts from their mothers and their fathers, their sons and their daughters, their brothers and their sisters, their aunts and their uncles and their grandmothers and their grandfathers, and all who loved them. With a prayer in their hearts, they would be watching them leaving from the safety of the ocean's shores, sailing off, yet once again, with a prayer in their hearts that they would safely return back home. All who had come to know the plight of those five young hearts, who were missing, and in peril upon a raging and stormy sea, had adopted each and every one in their hearts, as their very own. Praying for a miracle that they had reached the safety of a liferaft with the food and the water to sustain them, until they were safely found. Still there was nothing to be found in the miracle of a liferaft, that would carry them all safely together, to finding their way, to reaching home. And now sadly and tragically, their fishing vessel has been found, with no safety intact of the sleeping quarters that might still have held them, safely there, on board Miss Ally. We will ask ourselves the questions that everyone will ask and no one can find the answers to find the reasons why? We live in an imperfect world, where suffering and pain are also a part of life's joy, where gifts of life are given, and gifts of life can be suddenly and tragically, taken away. There were five young men, with their hearts and their will to survive, but the uncertainty of life has sadly and tragically, taken them all away. It was never God who had taken them away, it was the imperfection of life, that allowed the perilous sea to gather them all together and take them to their final home. There were five young lives upon that fishing vessel on the sea, but the mighty hands of God were there to bring them comfort and peace, as He gathered each and every one of them, together, and carried them all safely home. They are now, all safely home and at peace, in God's hands and free from the suffering and the pain of life. Their loving families have been left behind, to suffer their heartbreaking loss and their pain. The open seas in Heaven, is where they will all meet once again, on the safe shores of a mighty sea, where only peace and safety will be there to guide them, in sailing the peaceful and the calmed seas together and forever .May all of their families rest in the peace, that they will meet once again on the calmed shores of the mighty sea, with their safety and peace and their eternal freedom, forever there, with God forever guiding their way. May God bless every family member and may they find the comfort and peace, in knowing that every heart and every prayer was there in the stormy and the raging seas with your loved ones, and are still, and forever with them, too.............

  • Teresa Smiley
    February 24, 2013 - 10:45

    It is with a heavy heart that I send along my sincere condolences to the families and friends of these 5 young gentlemen. It will be 20 years on Oct. 1st, 2013 since we lost our brother to a boating accident. It took 5 days to find his body which we are grateful for. I felt your pain this last week and I hope you can find some peace and comfort in knowing they all died together doing what they loved to do. Hold onto each other and the fond memories of each of them. Bless you all.

  • Beulah Pardy
    February 24, 2013 - 10:19

    On behalf of myself and my family I wish to send my sincere thoughts and prayers to the family. A few yrs bk my grand daughters husband lost his longliner and one of his crew members at sea. Because of this incident I am fully aware of what the families are going through. May God be with you through this very trying time and may He keep the wives and children cupped and covered in His hand. Praying for you.

  • Everett Titus
    February 24, 2013 - 09:48

    Deepest sympathy to all families,friends and community as a whole for such a tragic loss.

  • Mary Batchilder
    February 24, 2013 - 08:48

    I am so sorry for the families who are left to grieve and for the young lives lost , way too soon. May God give the families and friends all the strength they need to cope at this very difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Our community has had a mining tragedy and although the community pulled together, still the families have to cope with the loss of lives, forever more. My heart aches for the families!

  • Lorraine Saulnier
    February 23, 2013 - 21:13

    I am so sorry. May they Rest In Peace.

  • Becky Rhyno
    February 23, 2013 - 20:07

    Not the news anyone was hoping for. God bless the families and friends. Such a terrible tragedy.