2 people dead after vessel capsizes on Newfoundland’s west coast

2 people dead after vessel capsizes on Newfoundland’s west coast

Rescue ships in the water, smoke in the air.
A rescue operation is underway Sunday near Port au Port, N.L., between Molly Ann Cove and Rope Cove. (Submitted by Sam Anderson)

Two people are dead following a vessel capsizing on Newfoundland’s west coast Sunday morning, near the community of Lark Harbour.

Long Range Mountains MP Gudie Hutchings posted on social media that two men had died.

“The sea giveth and the sea taketh away. I am devastated to hear two young men have perished at sea. All the love and prayers in the world are needed now for the families and the Lark Harbour community and fishing communities everywhere,” she wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Fish, Food & Allied Workers union also sent its condolences to the families impacted by this tragedy and the communities of York Harbour and Lark Harbour

“One life lost at sea is always one life too many. These lives were far too young to go,” said FFAW-Unifor’s statement on Facebook.

A screenshot of a tweet reads "The sea giveth and the sea taketh away.  I am devastated to hear two young men have perished at sea.  All the love and prayers in the world are needed now for the families and the Lark Harbour community and fishing communities everywhere."
In a post on X, Long Range Mountains MP Gudie Hutchings posted her condolences and wrote that “two young men have perished at sea.” (Gudie Hutchings/X)

In a post on the Lark Harbour Facebook page, the town said the town hall would be opened for people to gather Sunday evening “as a gathering spot for our residents to support each other in this time of grief.”

Premier Andrew Furey also said his heart was with Lark Habour and he’d spoken with Mayor Maria MacDonald, as well as Hutchings and MHA Eddie Joyce. 

“I will be there to support the community through this challenging time,” he wrote.

Four people airlifted

Capt. Trevor Ackland, spokesperson for the Joint Task Force Atlantic in support of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre in Halifax, initially said four people were airlifted from a beach on the west coast and brought to hospital after the vessel was found capsized. The DFO later corrected this version of events, and said the survivors were airlifted to shore, where they were treated by paramedics.

He said the centre responded to a call from the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John’s for assistance after reports of people in the water.

A helicopter flies through a pale sky.
A Cormorant helicopter has been dispatched to the scene. (Submitted by Sam Anderson)

Ackland said a Cormorant helicopter was dispatched from the Search and Rescue Squadron in Gander to the scene, which was near Molly Ann Cove.

“Once they arrived on scene, they proceeded to pick up and airlift four persons that were located on a beach,” Ackland told CBC News.

Ackland said he couldn’t speculate on fatalities but the four people were alive when they were airlifted.

Fish harvester Sam Anderson was fishing in the area around Molly Ann Cove and Rope Cove around 11 a.m. Sunday when he spotted a cabin on fire on shore.

He saw a couple of men on the beach, he said, with a capsized vessel nearby.

“We followed the procedure, you know, contacted the coast guard radio and we tried to get him. We couldn’t get at him because the waters were too shallow and nothing we could do,” Anderson told CBC News.

He said it was a remote area with no roads.

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