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All 32 crew members are now rescued from a distressed fishing boat off the coast of Nova Scotia

All 32 crew members are now rescued from a distressed fishing boat off the coast of Nova Scotia

The 32 crew of the Atlantic Destiny have now been evacuated from the fishing boat, which began to take on water following a fire on Tuesday evening in rough seas and high winds about 200 kilometers away. off the coast of Nova Scotia, according to the company that owns the vessel.

“It was a huge relief for all of us. We have been in contact all night and really cared about the crew on board and making sure they got home safely,” said Martin Sullivan, CEO of Ocean Choice International, at CBC. Information morning Wednesday.

Atlantic Destiny ran into trouble after a fire broke out around 8 p.m. Tuesday, possibly in the engine room, Sullivan said. The fire cut off the vessel’s power, then the vessel began to take on water.

The 43-meter-long scallop boat was located approximately 220 km off Yarmouth, NS. High winds and six to eight meter seas made the rescue difficult.

But Sullivan said 28 of the crew were airlifted off the ship by Canadian and U.S. rescue helicopters.

A Canadian military CH-149 Cormorant helicopter used to rescue the crew of the Atlantic Destiny was at Yarmouth Airport on Wednesday. (Paul Palmeter / CBC)

Sullivan called the rescue “incredible” and spoke about the hard work of rescue teams from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center, a federal government search and rescue organization.

The Canadian and United States Coast Guard, as well as several offshore fishing vessels, including the Cape LaHave, Maude Adams, Atlantic Preserver and Atlantic Protector, came to the aid of the crew, according to a press release from Ocean Choice.

4 crew members stayed behind

The captain of Atlantic Destiny and three crew members remained on board, along with two search and rescue technicians. They managed to restore power and started pumping water out of Atlantic Destiny. But these efforts were ultimately ineffective.

“We know she was taking on water and they were trying to stay one step ahead with the pumps, but they had to give up in the end there … we’re not sure what the current state is.” , Sullivan said.

At around 8 a.m. Wednesday, everyone left Atlantic Destiny and boarded the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape Roger.

The rest of the crew were taken to Yarmouth, where they received medical attention, food and accommodation. It does not appear that anyone was seriously injured.

The majority of the crew of the Atlantic Destiny was flown to Yarmouth Airport. (Paul Palmeter / CBC)

Ship still afloat

Atlantic Destiny is currently still afloat and under surveillance. Sullivan was unsure of the damage to the ship.

The company would like to recover the ship, but Sullivan is unsure if that will be possible. He said he should have a better idea of ​​what will happen with the ship in the coming days.

It is still unclear what caused the blaze, but it will be investigated, Sullivan said.

“We are so happy that everyone is safe,” he said.

The United States Coast Guard helicopter that helped rescue the crew of the Atlantic Destiny. (Paul Palmeter / CBC)

This is not the first time that the ship has encountered problems. In March 2017, the Atlantic Destiny suffered a catastrophic engine failure which resulted in the loss of power to the vessel.

A year later, a Transportation Safety Board report attributed the failure to a combination of maintenance deficiencies, a broken emergency shutdown mechanism, and the actions of an inexperienced crew member.

Atlantic Destiny is based in Riverport, Nova Scotia and is one of Ocean Choice’s six offshore fishing vessels.

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