Officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans arrived in the Quebec community of Iles-de-la-Madeleine yesterday to provide support for the grieving families of four sealers tragically killed last weekend.
Fisheries and Oceans Minister Loyola Hearn announced Monday an independent body will review the incident once investigations by the RCMP, the coast guard and Transportation Safety Board, which began yesterday, are complete.
A spokeswoman for the department said yesterday the minister is committed to ensuring the results of investigations into the incident will be made public.
“And we’ll do that as soon as we can, as soon as these investigations are complete,” said Chastity McKinnon.
The department’s Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, Sir William Alexander, was towing the Acadien II when the fishing trawler capsized off the coast of Cape Breton, dumping six seal-hunters in the frigid water.
Two of the sealers survived while three others were found dead and one is still missing and presumed dead.
Friends and family members of the four deceased men say it was the speed of the coast guard vessel and inattention of crew members on board that caused the boat to flip when it hit a large chunk of ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Meanwhile, residents of the Quebecois community of Iles-de-la-Madeleine where the sealers lived are calling for the coast guard to resume its search for the fourth crew member of the fishing trawler whose body was not found after an extensive search of the area Saturday.
Funerals for the three recovered sealers will take place Saturday.
Accident to get independent review
Officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans arrived in theQuebec community of Iles-de-la-Madeleine yesterday to provide supportfor the grieving families of four sealers tragically killed lastweekend.