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The fishing vessel Charlene A, which sank off the coast of Hacketts Cove early Saturday morning, was towed to shore.(Photo: YouTube)

Lobster vessel sinks little after lobster fishing season starts

Click on the flag for more information about Canada CANADA
Tuesday, December 04, 2018, 03:30 (GMT + 9)

A boat sank on Saturday at about 300 to 400 metres offshore in Nova Scotia as the crew were heading back to port on the first day of lobster fishing season.

The crew decided to turn round because the Charlene A. began taking on water about 1.5 kilometres off Hacketts Cove, CBC News reported.

The four crew members are safe as they were rescued by another vessel after being in the 5 °C water for 10 to 15 minutes.

"We're happy and relieved to know that the individuals were in fact wearing personal flotation devices and that there were other vessels in the area that were able to rescue them that quickly, especially in the waters at that temperature this time of year," said joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokesperson Major Amber Bineau.

Charlene A. began taking on water about 1.5 kilometres off Hacketts Cove but was towed to shore.(Photo: YouTube/atlantic.ctvnews.ca)

The owner of the vessel towed it to the wharf at Hacketts Cove and used excavators and backhoes to haul it up onto cribwork.

Keith Laidlaw, the deputy superintendent for the Coast Guard's environmental response team, said although the fishing boat had about 400 litres of diesel fuel on board, none was released.

However, Coast Guard crews are on the scene using absorbent materials to clean up 30 to 40 litres of hydraulic fuel that leaked.

Laidlaw said it's unclear whether the vessel is a writeoff.

A second vessel was towed to shore in Clark's Harbour after it began taking on water. The JRCC said the crew managed to stop the water from coming in, but the engine was not able to start, so the boat could not make it to land on its own steam. The crew remained on board as it was being towed.

Dumping Day, the day fishermen drop their traps into the water, is often regarded as one of the most dangerous days of the fishing season, since boats are loaded full of traps and rope and ride lower in the water than usual.

Hundreds of fishing boats left the wharves in communities across western Nova Scotia in the dark of early Saturday morning for the first day of lobster fishing season.

Representatives of fishing associations, with consultation from the federal Fisheries Department and Environment and Climate Change Canada, decided to postpone the start of the season due to high winds and rough seas in some areas which could have compromised safety.

Lobster boat leaving the pier.(Photo: YouTube/atlantic.ctvnews.ca)

Lobster fishing areas 33 and 34, which include the coast from just east of Dartmouth, down the South Shore all the way up to Digby, comprise Canada's largest commercial lobster fishery.

According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), fishermen in the area last year recorded landings worth CAD 502 million (USD 337.7 million), about 57 per cent of total Canadian lobster landings.
 
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