Chief William Saulis, a scallop fishing vessel, vanished on Tuesday morning, December 15, 2020, in the Bay of Fundy off the coast of southwestern Nova Scotia. The search and rescue teams combed the air and shore for five men still missing. The body of one crew member has been recovered and confirmed to his next of kin. His name has not been released.
An emergency signal arrived at 5:51 a.m. on Tuesday morning near Delaps Cove, Nova Scotia, the Maritime Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) said. A Cormorant helicopter, a CFB Greenwood Hercules aircraft and three coast guard ships were immediately deployed to assist with the search, which is being hindered by bad weather. The sea was above two metres with winds over 30 knots (34 mph) blowing from the northwest, pushing toward the shoreline and hampering rescue attempts. When Chief William Saulis left the port to fish for scallops, the weather became worse than originally expected. They were going from Chignecto Bay N.S. to Digby, N.S.
As of this publication, debris from the air was spotted on Thursday, December 17, 2020, and two life rafts washed ashore, but no one was on board. The crew were thought to be sleeping in their bunks, and if Chief William Saulis had overturned, they would not have had time to save themselves, even though there were survival suits and life jackets on board.
In Nova Scotia, the sea scallop fishing industry is a major commercial venture. Scallop fishing is divided between Georges Bank offshore fleets and the Bay of Fundy inshore fleet. Nova Scotia landed more than 63,000 mt of scallops worth over $162 million in 2014. In Nova Scotian waters, the vast majority of sea scallops harvested are shipped in fresh or frozen form to the USA.