Coast guard blasted after ship sinks

The father of one of the men on board an overturned fishing boat says the coast guard should never have left the vessel before trying to stabilize it.

George Hopkins said Friday that official search crews may have needlessly lost track of the Miss Ally, which capsized sometime Sunday with five men on board.

Hopkins, whose 27-year-old son Joel is among the missing fishermen, conceded that the coast guard may not have been able to search the inside of the 13-metre fishing boat but it could have kept an eye on it.

"They should have stayed there," he said from his home in Woods Harbour, N.S. "That was a big mistake, right there. You don't leave it, you leave someone by it."

Maj. Martell Thompson, spokesman for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax, said once the search was called off Tuesday at 6 p.m., the navy and coast guard pulled away from the area.

"We don't do recovery, we do search and rescue," Thompson said in an interview, adding that the RCMP was in charge the moment the search was ended.

"The JRCC, search and rescue, we focus on saving lives, not assets."

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