Halifax RCMP have identified the fisherman who went missing off the Eastern Passage shore early Sunday morning as 39-year-old Scott Clarke.
The Mounties released the Oyster Pond man’s name yesterday afternoon, a day and a half after he fell off the fishing vessel Lady Tiana about four kilometers south of Devil’s Island, near Halifax Harbour.
The search began at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday when the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received a call about a man overboard, but was called off at sunset when “all hope for his survival diminished considerably during the day,” a news release said.
Joint Task Force Atlantic spokesman Maj. Paul Doucette said yesterday the decision to end the search at sea was made after speaking with Clarke’s family and local fishermen, adding “those sorts of decisions are taken very seriously.”
In Clarke’s case, he said the incident happened during the early morning in chilly fall waters and that the fisherman did not have a survival suit on at the time.
“The search area was saturated,” Doucette said, explaining a Cormorant helicopter from 14 Wing Greenwood scoured the area all day, along with the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Sambro, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir William Alexander and at least thirteen commercial vessels.
“Taking all that into consideration, that’s how they came up with the decision to reduce,” Doucette said.
A Halifax RCMP spokesman said police headed up the land search Sunday with help from members of the Halifax Regional Search and Rescue team, but that too was called off by nightfall.
It appears to be a very unfortunate accident,” Cpl. Joe Taplin said yesterday. “He slipped or got caught in something (and) was swept overboard.”
Taplin said the only trace of Clarke that turned up Sunday were some articles of clothing that were brought ashore by fishermen.