The Coast Guard reports it is searching for five missing fishermen after communication was lost with them approximately 50 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Tuesday.
Watchstanders at the 1st Coast Guard District in Boston received a request from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax (JRCC) on Monday to assist in locating the 45-foot fishing vessel Miss Ally, homeported in Nova Scotia, whose crew was beset by weather and were having difficulty returning to port in Halifax.
JRCC Halifax had been talking with the Miss Ally crew and contacted the Coast Guard when they lost communication with them.
A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, HU-25 Falcon jet crew launched and located a life raft at approximately 3 a.m., Monday. The Falcon crew dropped a self-locating datum marker buoy to mark the position.
JRCC Halifax also specifically requested the new Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod HC-144A Ocean Sentry to assist in the search due to their state-of-the-art technologies and long flight endurance.
The HC-144A also has operational flexibility, with a rear ramp that allows crews to quickly reconfigure the aircraft for varied missions such as command and control, medical evacuation or passenger transport. With an endurance of more than 10 hours, this fixed-wing, turbo-prop aircraft has an extensive sensor capability that helps the Coast Guard fulfill its maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions more effectively. The HC-144A Ocean Sentry Medium Range Surveillance aircraft is becoming the Coast Guard’s primary maritime patrol aircraft. The HC-144A cockpit provides superior situational awareness, allowing crews to better concentrate on their missions.
"That aircraft is going to fly out 300 miles and stay on scene for a heavy search it is specifically designed to perform," said Lt. Joe Klinker, 1st Coast Guard District public affairs officer. "Our greatest hope is that all of these advantages give us the one thing was can't just build into an aircraft: the safe return of these fishermen."
(Video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Simpson of a take off over Cape Cod courtesy of the USCG.)
► See previous USCG stories here.