Three Kincolith men have been found safe after not returning to shore while their boat was found adrift in the Work Channel, north of Prince Rupert, on Feb. 21.
William Stanley, known as Scotty aged 35, husband and father of four children, his brother Jeffery Stanley aged 38, and their cousin Garret Doolan aged 41, did not return from an outing to dig for cockles and clams as expected on Feb. 20, setting in motion a Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue mission.
The men were found safe on Reef Island early on Tuesday evening, Shannon Stanley, wife of Scotty, told The Northern View.
The three men left from the Kincolith Marine Dock just after 1:45 p.m. on Monday on the boat Talask Skye, owned by the younger Stanley brother. All three men are experienced boaters with more than 25 years of experience, Shannon Stanley said.
She said the boat was found tied to a log and adrift in the channel. No one was on board when the boat was spotted by the Search and Rescue plane just after 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The men’s cell phones, wallets and some gear were found inside the boat.
In an email to The Northern View, Const. Brody Hemrich, media relations officer for the Prince Rupert RCMP, confirmed there was an ongoing search for the men.
“The Coast Guard, as well as the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), were spearheading an operation searching for the three missing fishermen.”
He said the Prince Rupert Coastal Unit was on standby to assist with any tasks the Coast Guard required.
“Due to the men digging for clams on shore, there is a working theory the boat may have been pulled away when the tide turned. The Lsims Nass Valley RCMP are currently providing the Coast Guard with as much information as they can to aid in their search,” Hemrich said during the search.
Scotty Stanley’s wife said she drove to the dock to meet him on Monday evening but the boat didn’t return. She waited up all night while several people with stronger radios attempted to reach the boaters but were unsuccessful. The Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue was called around 8 a.m.
Stanley said the seas have been rough, which hampered the search. She said she was told by RCMP a ship was planned to patrol the channel on Wednesday using fog horns and searchlights as well a beach search would be implemented.
She said that she is trying to stay positive. She hopes the men are safe on a beach and the boat just drifted.
“My thanks go to the Search and Rescue team,” she said. “I was praying they’d find my husband and his brothers safely. Please guide them home to be with their families.”
The Northern View has contacted CCG Search and Rescue for comment.
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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