LA SCIE, NL — The fishers who abandoned their sinking boat were rescued shortly ago from the ice by a search and rescue helicopter.
Joan Scarey of Baie Verte, whose husband Lawson (Lot) owns one of the stranded boats, said her husband and crew are safe as of now. She said the conditions are not good, but fishers were desperate as the season passes and they have yet to get to the crab grounds because of ice conditions.
She said Lawson told her he could see the icebreaker, but is uncertain whether it will reach them to assist. They watched the Search and Rescue helicopter rescue the men who had been on the ice as their boat took on water, Sacrey said.
One of the four fishing boats stranded in ice off La Scie has started taking on water.
The situation is now being handled by the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre — a rescue coordination centre operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Coast Guard.
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There are four fishing vessells stuck in ice off La Scie.
After further analysis of ice conditions, the Canadian Coast Guard ship Amundsen is unable to safely reach the boats at this time.
According to a coast guard spokesperson, the ice pack contains heavy arctic ice two metres thick.
The coast guard wil continue to monitor the situation and watch for conditions to improve.
The boats are stable and not in any immediate danger, according to the coast guard.
The Canadian Coast Guard ship Amundsen is enroute and will try to bring the vessels back into port this morning, according to a spokesperson from the coast guard.
There are heavy ice conditions along the northeast coast of Newfoundland, and it is unsafe to escort the fishing boats out to sea, he said.
Tuesday, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers issued a press release urging the federal government to assist people in the crab fishery unable to work because of ice conditions. The release said fishers have reached desperate times without income and have been attempting to reach the crab fishing grounds despite the dangers of the pack ice.
The Norwester will attempt to provide updates as the situation unfolds.