Four fishermen evacuated by helicopter

Quatre pêcheurs évacués par hélicoptère

RIVIÈRE-AU-RENARD — The coast Guard evacuated four fishermen by helicopter early Sunday morning after their shrimp boat was stranded near the harbour of Rivière-au-Renard in the Gaspé peninsula.

The rudder of the Joneve, property of the mi’kmaq community of Gesgapegiag, was broken Saturday morning while the boat was fishing off the coast of Port-Cartier. A colleague, the captain of the JD Caroline, Christine, towed the Joneve up to the entrance to the port of Rivière-au-Renard. At this time, around 23h on Saturday night the cables broke and the boat ran aground not far from the shore.

The water is allowed to enter the chamber of the engine through the damaged hull. The wind was strong and the boat was leaning. “We had the misery to stand,” said the captain of the Joneve, Pierre Dupuis. The boat of the coast Guard, based in Rivière-au-Renard, has not been able to come forward to rescue the fishermen.

A helicopter of the national Defence has, therefore, been sent out from Halifax. Between 3h15 and 4 o’clock Sunday morning, the camera, hovering above the shrimp boat, was used to extract the four sailors and took them back to the land farm (see here).

The captain Dupuis says he has not felt in danger. “We put our clothes of survival and we were stuck inside [waiting for someone]. It was not far off of the strike, but it was dark and it ventait.” These conditions precluded an evacuation of the fishermen by their own means.

The wind was still blowing too strong Sunday in Rivière-au-Renard to think about releasing the Joneve of his predicament. “We expect a lull. We meet on a Monday morning. We will do our best to get it out of there,” said the captain Dupuis.

The captain is in contact with the coast Guard and Environment Canada, as the boat containing diesel.

The Joneve came home from his second fishing trip to the shrimp of the season. The shrimp boats took to the sea on the 6th of April, after that the fishermen and factories of the great Gaspé is to be heard on the landed cost record, an increase of 37% compared to last year. These prices are likely to offset in part the reductions in quota of 35% suffered by shrimp vessels in the gulf of St. Lawrence this year.