Search team locates wreckage of Tyhawk fishing vessel

Members of a community-led search team have spotted the wreckage of the fishing vessel Tyhawk that capsized off the Nova Scotia coast at the start of snow crab season earlier this month.

The boat is in more than 70 metres of water.

Craig (Jumbo) Sock, the boat’s captain, has been missing since the accident on April 3. He has not been located.

The search team used an underwater camera to locate the boat. It is in an area where the boat was last reported.

The New Brunswick-based boat is owned by the Elsipogtog First Nation.

Four of the six crew members were rescued. Seth Monahan died. Sock was later declared missing and is presumed dead.

Boat located Sunday

Volunteer searchers made the discovery Sunday.

“It gave us a little hope that we would find Jumbo near the site or around the vessel,” Richard Levi, co-ordinator of the search team, said Sunday evening.

Levi, who is also Jumbo’s cousin, has been in Chéticamp, N.S., since April 16, along with other members of the Elsipogtog First Nation, to search for the missing captain.

Searchers hoped to find Sock in the area where they discovered the boat, but he remains missing. (Submitted by Derek Sock)

Levi said they were able to locate the boat because of a piece of rope that was spotted in the water. 

“They kept tugging on it and it tightened up,” Levi said, adding that the spot was marked with buoys until they were able to bring in a remotely operated vehicle on Sunday. 

“They left early this morning and they went to that site and found that the rope was attached to the vessel the Tyhawk — belonged to Jumbo.”

Dark, deep water

The depth of the water where the boat is located is causing some troubles for the team.

“That’s very deep and it’s very dark,” Levi said.

The search team is looking to get access to side-scan sonar that will be able to provide better coverage in the deep water. 

“The side-scan has sharp imaging, almost like a high-definition view of the ocean floor,” Levi said.

He said searchers were disappointed they were unable to locate Sock.

Friends and family from Mi’kmaw communities in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are pooling their resources and raising money to try to find him.

The volunteer search team is working with local ATV groups in Cape Breton, Pictou County and eastern P.E.I. to scan the coast. People are also searching on foot.

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