Windsor Junction man identified as victim of fishing vessel incident

Jeremy Hart of Windsor Junction passed away after being lifted from the ocean after falling off the fishing vessel he was aboard off Canso over the weekend. (FB Photo)

WINDSOR JUNCTION: The sister of the fisherman who was lifted from the ocean off eastern Nova Scotia on the weekend has said her brother has died.

Alana Lewis told The Canadian Press in a story posted by Global Halifax that Jeremy Hart, 35, passed away at 3:30 p.m. on March 13. He had been found in the waters off Canso unresponsive by rescue teams from the Canadian Coast Guard.

In the story, Lewis said Hart only joined the halibut fishing vessel Mucktown Girl on Thursday March 10.

Hart’s mom, Paige Lewis, is the bartender at the Waverley Legion.

The tragic loss began to spread through the small community on Monday afternoon, with many people expressing their condolences to the family online or by personal messages.

In the CP story on Global, a Canadian Coast Guard spokeswoman, said earlier a man wearing an immersion suit had spent close to five hours in the water before a helicopter rescue at around 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

The coast guard did not elaborate on how the man ended up in the water during the transfer of the fishing boat’s crew from a life-raft to a coast guard vessel at around 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

The four other crew members were successfully rescued.

Heidi MacDonald told CP in an interview that “a normal process will be followed” in investigating what occurred, adding the seas were extremely rough during the transfer.

“There were obviously very high winds and high seas of about eight metres at the time,” she said.

The fishing boat had requested assistance due to an engine problems early March 12 when it was more than 160 kilometres southeast of Canso.

The CP story said an attempt by the coast guard vessel Jean Goodwill to tow the boat to Mulgrave, N.S., failed on Saturday night, leaving the ship adrift.

The crew boarded a life-raft as their vessel took on water the next morning.

Lewis told The Laker News that Hart loved his nephews.

“He lived every day to its fullest,” said Lewis on March 14.