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MEDIA RELEASE: New Project Aims to Save Lives by Making Personal Locator Beacons Accessible to NL Fish Harvesters

February 14, 2022

Click here for a media release from the Newfoundland and Labrador Fish Harvesting Safety Association (NL-FHSA). 

“In July 2020 while fishing halibut with my buddy Todd Mclean we ended up in the water after our boat swamped and sunk off Sally’s Cove. Weather conditions had gotten worse throughout the day and after hauling aboard our last trawl the boat took a couple waves over the side and within seconds we were in the water. I was wearing a PFD and although Todd had his aboard he did not have enough time to put it on. We both held on to debris that floated from the boat and even though Todd was without his PFD he managed to hang on to the cover of a small insulated tub we had on board. Seas were rough at the time and it was hard for us to stay together. Todd was struggling to stay afloat and after a couple hours we drifted apart in heavy seas and tide. The incident happened in the early afternoon but it wasn’t until nearly noon the next day before I was picked up by coast guard. Coast guard was searching for us throughout the evening and night, I could hear and even see the helicopter but they could not see me. Even after daylight the next day I could see the coast guard vessel and helicopters for hours before they managed to find me. Unfortunately, by the time we found Todd it was too late. If we would have had PLB’s I think outcome would have been different. I would not have had to fight to survive in the ocean for 20 hours and I think Todd would have survived as well.”

Dylan Mitchelmore, Fish Harvester (Green Island Cove)