Military lends hand in boat recovery

The RCMP says patrols by three aircraft turned up no sightings of the intact hull of a fishing boat that capsized in heavy seas off southwest Nova Scotia with the loss of five fishermen.

In a news release issued late Thursday the Mounties said a Canadian Armed Forces Hercules was joined by aircraft from Transport Canada and Provincial Airlines in searching an area of more than 1,700 sq. km.

Officials said small items of debris were sighted in an area near the last known position of the 13-metre Miss Ally which overturned sometime Sunday.

An initial analysis of photos taken during the patrol suggested the items were from the vessel.

The Mounties said they had consulted with the families of the fishermen who were given the surveillance photos.

Police said two RCMP officers had boarded the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Sir William Alexander and had left Halifax for the debris field where the vessel would provide security until further plans were developed.

Officials said an additional overflight would be conducted by the military on Friday.

"This is devastating to the families and to the entire community. These men were deeply loved and the loss of their young lives will impact the hearts and souls of the fishermen and their community for many years to come," RCMP Supt. Sylvie Bourassa Muise said in a statement.

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