By Tina Comeau
Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) will now sort through the information they gathered after travelling to Wedgeport on Jan. 14 to probe whether there are any safety improvements that should be recommended and implemented following an incident in which a young fisherman was lost at sea.
Two TSB investigators spent the day in Wedgeport on Monday, two days after 20-year-old Mike Doucette fell overboard from the fishing vessel Row Row. Despite an extensive search that lasted nearly 14 hours and included military aircraft, Coast Guard vessels and around 20 fishing boats, Doucette was not found.
The TSB’s role is not to assign blame. Rather, its sole mandate is the advancement of safety.
“Our job is only to investigate an accident and determine if there are any safety deficiencies and make recommendations to prevent the accident from happening again, that’s all we do,” explained Pierre Murray, the TSB manager of regional operations for marine in the Atlantic Provinces. “That’s the whole purpose of sending somebody there. Is there anything that could be done to prevent this from happening again?”
Murray said the loss of life from fishing vessels is something that weighs heavily with the Transportation Safety Board and is on the TSB’s “watch list.”
“The loss of life on fishing vessels is something that for us is very important,” he said. “When something like this happens we really put the emphasis on trying to solve it and trying to find the solution.”
There is no identified time frame to how long it may take the TSB to file a report or come up with any recommendations based on this incident, should it be felt that any recommendations are warranted.