Search continues for fishermen

The search for five Nova Scotia fishermen whose boat capsized in heavy seas late Sunday has been expanded eastward to account for prevailing currents.

Two coast guard vessels and three aircraft have already covered more than 18,000 square kilometres off Nova Scotia's southwest coast, said navy spokesman Lt. Peter Ryan.

The search has yielded few clues since the crew aboard a U.S. Coast Guard jet reported seeing a life-raft in the dark early Monday.

Ryan said searchers are still picking up a weak signal from an emergency locator beacon that is believed to be floating near the overturned vessel. But he couldn't explain why neither the boat nor the beacon has been found.

He said the likelihood that the men have survived is dropping by the hour and even if they were wearing immersion suits, their chances of surviving more than 24 hours in the water were slim.

"That 24 hours is what we use as a survivability rate, as a general rule of thumb," Ryan said in an interview.

"Of course, we're passed that now, but we're still searching. ... We're still hoping we can locate the crew and vessel. (But) the sea state and the weather are less than optimal."

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