Lobster fisherman dies after falling overboard in southwest Nova Scotia

Published on November 30, 2015

A Cormorant helicopter, the Coast Guard vessel Spray and a Hercules aircraft responded to a distress call early Sunday morning. Five fishermen from the FV Jill Marie were rescued unharmed and taken aboard the Spray.

YARMOUTH -A fisherman has died off southwestern Nova Scotia on the first day of the annual lobster season.

Barrington RCMP are investigating a fishing incident that claimed the life of a Cape Breton man Monday morning, Nov. 30.

Police were notified that a man fell overboard from a fishing vessel after 9 a.m.

RCMP say that a 53-year-old man was setting lobster traps when he fell into the water. The crew pulled him out and called the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) for assistance.  JRCC responded and deployed Search and Rescue Technicians by plane to assist. The man and technicians were then transferred to the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Clarke's Harbour.   

The man rushed via helicopter to Yarmouth Regional Hospital where a short while later he was pronounced dead.

The incident remains under investigation by the RCMP, the Transportation and Safety Board and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Occupational Health and Safety.

In a second incident, two fishermen were also pulled from the water after also falling overboard. They were receiving medical treatment after the incident.

Hundreds of vessels hit the water in southwestern Nova Scotia on Monday at 6 a.m. in LFA 34 and at 7 a.m. in LFA 33.

Minister offers condolences

Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan is sending condolences to the family and friends of the fisherman who died.  

"This is such sad news," said Ms. Regan. "I know I'm joined by many across the province in expressing my heartfelt sympathy to his loved ones."  

The Department of Labour and Advanced Education is investigating.  

There have been 25 workplace fatalities this year, and this is the seventh as the result of an accident. In 2014, 20 Nova Scotians died at work or from a work-related illness.

Chris d'Entremont, the MLA for Argyle-Barrington, also expressed condolences.

“My deepest condolences to the Cape Breton man’s family and friends,” said d’Entremont. “Our community mourns with you.”


“This is an awful way to start the season,” he said. “Today’s tragedy is a harsh reminder of how dangerous fishing can be and how relentless and unforgiving the ocean is.”