Update on the Chief William Saulis and the search for missing fishermen


**** RCMP Media Release

Update on the Chief William Saulis and the search for missing fishermen

The Nova Scotia RCMP is providing an update on the Chief William Saulis and the search for the missing fishermen.

On December 15, 2020 the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre began a search for the Chief William Saulis and its crew when an emergency beacon was activated off on the coast of Delaps Cove. On December 16, with the assistance of its partners, including Ground Search and Rescue teams and the Department of Lands and Forestry, the RCMP continued air and ground searches, including a 55 km stretch of shoreline from Delaps Cove to Margaretsville, to search for the missing fishermen and any items from the Chief William Saulis.

The Nova Scotia RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) began conducting sonar exploration on January 4. Shortly after, members from the RCMP National Underwater Recovery Training Centre (NURTC) in British Columbia arrived to assist. A Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV)​ equipped with a multi-beam sonar was also brought in from RCMP in British Columbia. The technology was used to search specific areas, including GPS coordinates from the vessel.

On January 16, the Nova Scotia RCMP URT and NURTC members, with assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard and Transportation Safety Board, searched a targeted area using side scan sonar and found the Chief William Saulis. The vessel was located upright more than two kilometers from the shore of Delaps Cove at a depth of more than 60 metres, which exceeds the maximum safe diving depth for the RCMP URTs. The URTs were not able to determine whether the fishermen’s remains are on board the vessel given the challenging and demanding conditions.

The RCMP approached the Canadian Armed Forces to determine whether their divers may be able to assist. Upon conducting a thorough risk analysis, the CAF determined that the risk to the lives of their divers was too s

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