Updated: Search continues for missing halibut fishermen as families wait through night

HALIFAX – An overnight search that covered a vast area of rough seas off Nova Scotia’s south coast had yielded no sign by early today of five missing fishermen or their capsized vessel.

The 13-metre vessel sent a distress signal Sunday at 11 p.m. from a location about 120 kilometres southeast of Liverpool.

A spokesman for the Halifax search and rescue co-ordination centre says ocean conditions during the night were extremely rough.

“Seas were six metres, there were high winds, the weather was very tricky,” said Lt. Peter Ryan.

“They have found nothing yet, and at this point 7,000 square miles have been searched.”

Ryan says the search for the crew by a C-130 Hercules aircraft, a federal Fisheries aircraft and the coast guard vessels Earl Grey and Sir William Alexander is continuing today.

An Aurora aircraft that had searched through the night was refuelling and was expected to rejoin the search today.

A Cormorant helicopter was also expected to rejoin the search after poor weather forced it to return to its base late Monday.

The father of one of the crew says the vessel is the Miss Ally, from Woods Harbour, N.S.

Ryan said the search centre was still picking up signals from the vessel’s distress beacon, but the vessel itself hadn’t been seen.

He also said that a life-raft spotted earlier was no longer visible on the oceans.

Melodie Crowell, the aunt of the captain Katlin Nickerson, said she had been up all night, but when the call from the search officials came at 4 a.m. there was little to report.

“The planes are still looking. That’s all we know,” she said. “We’ve been up all night.”

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