Don’t let answers float away

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Letter to the Editor in response to Miss Ally sinking

The Miss Ally

 

I've been stewing, after realizing that the position of the wreck of the Miss Ally is known by the Coast Guard and Transport Canada.

We know the search has been terminated and handed over to the RCMP.  Fine.  We all know the limitations imposed by red tape.  

At the moment, the communities of Wood's Harbour and Cape Sable Island are considering hiring a private dive outfit to potentially perform a salvage operation on the Miss Ally.  This, in my opinion, is an amazing act of courage and cooperation by the families and our  "Down Shore" communities.  Their willingness to do whatever possible to get some answers here should have the complete backing and support of, not only us in Western Nova Scotia, but the entire province and all Atlantic maritime communities.

Beyond the fact that the Miss Ally was out in a storm, beyond the fact that the Coast Guard has suspended their search for the five missing men, the fact that officials know the location of the Miss Ally is enough of a reason to at least make some sort of an attempt to, not only locate the Miss Ally, but at a very minimum to do an inspection to see what type of structural damage she incurred.  

There are countless factors that could have happened to her before the EPIRP (emergency locator beacon) was activated. Loss of power could have wiped out their communications and means of propulsion.  Did they lose one of their wheelhouse windows, flooding the bridge with water and causing a free surface effect?  Were they exposed to heavy sleet and snow accumulation, causing an additional loss of stability?  None of these questions will be answered ever, if the Miss Ally isn't at the very least inspected up close by a salvage vessel, let alone an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) inspection and possible diver inspection.

It's beyond obvious that the families of those lost would hope to find some of their loved ones inside the wreckage.  However, in addition to this, from a learning and safety perspective, we as a seafaring community, as a province, as a nation, deserve to know what happened to the Miss Ally.  The technology and more importantly the expertise, is available, right here in Nova Scotia, to go out there and do our best — to do what any parent/fisherman would do — to bring what we can back home and find out whatever we can as to what happened.  Do what is right!  

This story has made international headlines.  The people of Nova Scotia should rally behind this effort and, at the very least, respect them for refusing to let the limitations of Transport Canada leave answers to this tragedy floating away.

 

Captain Jamie Hood

Master Mariner

Yarmouth

 

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Recent comments

  • carrie
    February 24, 2013 - 10:56

    I just want to say that there is a weather forecast and these people had the information that it was two systems merging and the wind and waves would be severe.Any rescue mission in these conditions can be deadly.Even when weather clears up the waves are still 6 foot waves and wind .Perhaps no one wanted to pay attention on land how the conditions are at sea.Even a rescue boat would have been swamped so the likely-hood of surviving this for crew is very slim because the waters are very cold.

  • Mike Muise
    February 23, 2013 - 18:04

    Like it or not, the reality is there is a high chance that Human Error is at fault. I agree. lets get answers. Lets show the world the truth. Lets show the world that Nova Scotians will put the blame everywhere but where its due. Its the governments fault for not providing more money to the coast guard for recovery. its the Governments fault for not providing better education, its the parents fault for not teaching these "fisherman" better judgement skills. Its the captain of the ships fault for making the choices that kept the ship out when they knew the storm was coming. Plenty of blame to go around. -- I understand people want answers and closure. But screaming and blaming everybody else for whats happened sin't going to do anything. These people made their choices, and knew the risks.. well sorry princesses, the worst has happened, an answers aren't promised to anyone. Lifes Not fair, deal with it.

  • norm
    February 23, 2013 - 16:55

    i agree with captain jamie hood.lets learn more.

  • morvin
    February 23, 2013 - 14:44

    @Dave B, do you have an opinion as to what the coast guard would have done if this were a US fishing vessel?

  • Dave Bernas
    February 22, 2013 - 17:16

    If this were a US fishing vessel ,I'm sure that once the coast guard located the capsized boat they would have had a couple of divers in the water checking to see if there were any of the fishermen inside before it totally sank.. This is tradgic in more than one way..It demonstrates our coast guards inability to act in a moral, respectable and timely manor. They could have sent a cutter out there quick enough to secure the drifing hull until it could be properly searched. My heart goes out to all those young lads family's and loved ones. May God Bless you all...

  • Dave B
    February 22, 2013 - 17:12

    If this were a US fishing vessel ,I'm sure that once the coast guard located the capsized boat they would have had a couple of divers in the water checking to see if there were any of the fishermen inside before it totally sank.. This is tradgic in more than one way..It demonstrates our coast guards inability to act in a moral, respectable and timely manor. They could have sent a cutter out there quick enough to secure the drifing hull until it could be properly searched. My heart goes out to all those young lads family's and loved ones. May God Bless you all...

  • Dave B
    February 22, 2013 - 17:09

    If this were a US fishing vessel ,I'm sure that once the coast guard located the capsized boat they would have had a couple of divers in the water checking to see if there were any of the fishermen inside before it totally sank.. This is tradgic in more than one way..It demonstrates our coast guards inability to act in a moral, respectable and timely manor. They could have sent a cutter out there quick enough to secure the drifing hull until it could be properly searched. My heart goes out to all those young lads family's and loved ones. May God Bless you all...

  • Bruce Reynolds
    February 22, 2013 - 12:45

    Very nice write up and well put. There is a lot of questions and this should not be put on the back burner so to speak.

  • Murray Robinson
    February 21, 2013 - 17:43

    Well put Capt. Jamie. The Family ,loved ones, friends and all of us need closure. This tragedy effects us all !! Thanks Jamie

  • jaye campbell
    February 21, 2013 - 15:30

    i find it so sad they have stopped the search if it had been a plane that crashed at sea they would not of stopped for the simple fact they are a multi million dollar industry. those 5 men deserve to have every means possible to find them and bring them home

  • Garvin Symonds
    February 21, 2013 - 15:13

    Very well put James and it is a sad situation when we have the means to inspect and find bodies if they are they but instead fishermen have to take things in their own hands while gov. stands by.

  • Diana Spinney
    February 21, 2013 - 14:37

    I can't put my head around the fact that the search for the 'Miss Allie' has been stopped when they know the location of the vessel. Doesn't it make more sense to bring some sort of closure for the members of those families left behind?? If it were a famous person, politician, police officer, it would not even be questioned. It would make the effort to find and salvage that boat to find out what happened to it and the crew. I know that if it were me, I'd want to know

  • Amanda Cummins
    February 21, 2013 - 14:31

    Hello As a person who grew up in a fishing village, has a brother who fishes and most of my former community Pinkney's point makes a living fishing.... I would like the thank you Jamie for having the voice for the five fisherman lost at sea and their families. Let's hope and pray that the Province of Nova Scotia does the ethical thing for the families that have been left behind. Sincerely Amanda (Robichaud) Cummins

  • John Shaar
    February 21, 2013 - 14:24

    Well said. The families and friends need closure.

    • Joesy Pid
      February 22, 2013 - 11:23

      Nova Scotia the whole world is watching!!!! How do you think this will impact the province when news gets out that it is the "citizens" and not the "authories" that are taking on the task of bringing closure to these families??