PORT HOOD: The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada and Nova Scotia’s labour department are investigating last weekend’s incident which claimed the lives of two fishermen.

On Sunday, the TSB deployed a team of investigators to Colindale. The TSB said it will gather information and assess the incident.

The Department of Labour and Advanced Education confirmed on Monday it is in the preliminary stages of its investigation.

Spokesperson Chrissy Matheson added the department will be working with the TSB on the investigation, and as of Monday afternoon, no occupational health and safety orders had been issued.

Photo by Grant McDaniel
Local fisherman returned to Murphy’s Pond early last Saturday morning out of respect for the two lives lost when the Ocean Star II went down at approximately 6 a.m.

News of the tragedy didn’t take long to make its way through Port Hood early Saturday morning, not to mention the rest of the county. By noon, the heart-breaking truth was confirmed.

“We lost two fisherman,” said Duncan Sutherland, a long-time employee of Ceilidh Fisherman’s Co-op operating out of Murphy’s Pond. Sutherland spoke to The Reporter just after 12 p.m. on May 12.

Sutherland said the likely cause of the accident was a rogue wave.

“Everybody came in after the accident,” Sutherland said of the other fishermen on the water.

Around 6 a.m., the Ocean Star II capsized while fishing close to the shore. Captain Hugh Watts and Glen MacDonald died in the incident. The only survivor was Elijah Watts, Hugh’s son.

Cpt. Marc Greatti, public affairs officer with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, confirmed they received the call Saturday morning that the lobster fishing vessel capsized in Sutherland’s Cove with three occupants onboard.

He noted that a Cormorant helicopter was dispatched to the scene, as well as about a dozen Canadian Coast Guard regular and auxiliary vessels. By the time the helicopter reached the area, Cpt. Greatti added that emergency responders – including the local RCMP, EHS and volunteer fire fighters – had the occupants of the vessel ashore and the Cormorant returned to its base.