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Providing No More – Part II

On February 6, 2018, the fishing vessel Fisherman’s Provider II left port in Canso, Nova Scotia on a five-day halibut fishing trip. After nearly two hours of erratic steaming behavior, including going around in circles just off Canso, the vessel ran hard aground on a well-known shoal. At first, the skipper and three crewmembers had plenty of time to comfortably get off the vessel, but the captain, Roger Stoddard, was apparently not about to leave his vessel under any circumstances. This is ...

Providing No More

“It was totally bizarre.” That was the way veteran Canso fisherman Billy Bond described it. And, his sentiments, more or less, sum up the feelings of the fishermen and most other people in Canso, Nova Scotia, when talking about the loss of the Fisherman’s Provider II and especially the death of the vessel’s captain, Roger Stoddard. Owned by Fishermen’s Market International Inc., the 43-foot fibreglass fishing vessel was docked at the company’s wharf in Canso, located on the ...

Contract Awarded for Bulk Oil Removal From Manolis L

The Department of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced today that a contract, valued at $15,106,400.00, has been awarded to Ardent Global LLC for the removal of bulk oil from the Manolis L shipwreck near Change Islands in Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Manolis L, which sank to a depth of more than 70 metres in 1985 off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, lay dormant until April 2013 when cracks in the hull, coupled with a powerful storm, allowed some ...

The Tragedy of the Miss Ally – Part V

Above photo: Fishermen’s Memorial in Woods Harbour, Nova Scotia The last communication between the fishing vessel Miss Ally was just before 11 p.m. Sunday, February 17, 2013. Not long after that, the vessel’s emergency locator beacon sounded. At that time, the Joint Rescue Coordinating Centre (JRCC) and Coast Guard staff realized that the 44-foot boat had likely succumbed to the storm that was raging off eastern Nova Scotia. A few hours later, two Coast Guard staff were asked to go ...

The Tragedy of the Miss Ally – Part III

The fishing vessel Miss Ally out of Wood’s Harbour, Nova Scotia, had fished halibut more than 100 miles offshore for four days before heading for port on February 17, 2013. Captain Katlin Nickerson and his four crewmembers were all young men and close friends. The fishing had been fair during their four days at sea, but word of an approaching storm scheduled to slam the area on Sunday evening sent most vessels scurrying for safety by Saturday night or early next morning. The Miss Ally ...

The Tragedy of the Miss Ally – Part II

The loss of the Miss Ally still sends chills down the spines of fishing families in southwestern Nova Scotia. Five young men died when the 44-foot vessel was overwhelmed by a huge wave as they were steaming home from a fishing trip. Last month, we introduced you to Della Sears Newell, the mother of the young captain of the Miss Ally. Della told us about her son and his accomplishments. She also told us about driving Katlin to the boat on February 12, 2013 and watched as his longliner headed out ...

The Tragedy of the Miss Ally – Part I

It was a grey day in February 2017 as Della Sears Newell sat at her kitchen table viewing a scrapbook containing pages of newspaper clippings, hand-written notes and an unofficial log of activities from the Joint Rescue Coordinating Centre (JRCC) in Halifax dated February 16 and 17, 2013. Oblivious to the light snow falling outside her window, Della was at home on Cape Sable Island, just days before the fourth anniversary of the loss of her son. Della is emotional and stressed, but also ...

Houston, We Have a Problem

In the 1970s, a pop culture phrase for something gone wrong was “Houston, we have a problem.” The line was attributed to astronaut James Lovell, commander of the Apollo 13 space mission in 1970 when the spacecraft developed a serious mechanical problem while in space, forcing abandonment of a planned attempt to land on the moon. It is not exactly word for word what the astronaut said, but it was close enough to become an every-day catch phrase by those who lived in that era. A few ...

Almost Home

In the early hours of an October morning in 2009, Captain Dean Hynes and his four-man crew were looking forward to getting home after a long evening and night mackerel seining off Stephenville on Newfoundland’s southwest coast. Dean, from Fox Island River, was captain and owner of the Blue Islander, a 45-foot seiner. His crewmembers consisted of three brothers, who were also Dean’s cousins — Wally, Paddy and Doug Leroy. The fifth man was Shane Lafitte, a new addition to the crew. Shane ...

Dreamboat Turned Nightmare – Part V

Captain Byron Oxford and his eight-man crew survived a harrowing ordeal after the fishing vessel Atlantic Charger sank south of Baffin Island in September 2015. For some of the survivors, the experience will haunt them forever. Captain Oxford said he battled anxiety while at sea for several months after the incident. For the vessel’s owner, his battle was different and started after the loss of the Charger. For nearly nine months following the loss of his vessel, Brad Watkins dealt ...