After an extensive aerial and water-based search over the last four days, Hay River RCMP are now in recovery mode for the four missing fishermen.
As part of the search efforts in the last four days, vessels from the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary have been deployed.
“It’s been a difficult week for friends and family of the missing four men,” Sgt Brandon Humbke, Hay River Detachment NCO said “They were well-known and respected fishermen. We are working hard to try to collect any information and evidence that could bring answers to their loved ones as to what happened.”
An aerial search over Great Slave Lake was conducted by 440 Squadron, JRCC and the Civilian Air Search and Rescue Association.
While a vast portion of the Great Slave basin has been searched for the missing fishermen, the search operation became focussed on an area between the south shoreline and Windy Bay area, after the discovery of the fishermen’s boat.
The vessel of the missing fishermen was located in Windy Bay area on Tuesday, October 1, partially submerged.
An ROV from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been utilized to inspect the submerged vessel.
Fishing debris, believed to be from the identified vessel, was located in the open water in the area, however, there have been no sightings of the missing fishermen after four days of searching.
Under the circumstances and with the low probability of survival, RCMP are now scaling back the search effort and proceeding with a recovery mission.
The RCMP have been maintaining regular contact with family members and will continue to keep them informed of the next steps.
RCMP thank the community of Hay River for supporting family members by providing shelter, food and comfort.
As some community and family members may decide to conduct a search for the missing fishermen on their own, RCMP want to remind community volunteers to use extreme caution and plan ahead if venturing out on the land or water as weather conditions can be hazardous and unpredictable.