Missing Tofino fishermen accident appears ‘suspicious,’ family claims

Missing Tofino fishermen accident appears 'suspicious,' family claims

WATCH: A heartwrenching wait is underway in Tofino as family and friends of three missing men await an identification of found remains in the area where their boat capsized. As Skye Ryan reports, it has many wondering if there’s more to this than an accident.

Carl Martin’s heartache is something you can almost feel.

“Everyday without any answers,” said the Tla-o-qui-aht man.

His two sons and nephew that are the Tla-o-quai-aht fishermen who went misisng June 15 after their boat capsized.

Carl said that Marcel Martin, Carl Michael Jr. and Terrance Brown Jr.’s children have been asking him questions every day.

“Especially one of my granddaughters,” he said. “She wants to know where her dad is.”

On July 18, a kayaker found human remains in the waters off Tofino. Tla-o-qui-aht are now waiting for the body recovered last week to be identified and are continuing to search the water around Echachist Island where the remains washed up.

Family is hoping to find clues about what happened to the men, who were three of a group of five who were all on Marcel Martin’s boat 1:30 a.m.

Family members say the three missing men had just met two strangers at the Maquinna Pub that night. Those two men were rescued. According to the family of the three missing men, the two left Tofino after being interviewed by RCMP.

“It’s affecting all of us,” said Nora Martin. “All of Tofino, all of our neighbouring tribes,” said the missing men’s aunt.

“It doesn’t add up,” said Grace Martin, another aunt of the missing men. “It doesn’t add up,” she said.

“[They] did not stay around, come tell us, explain us what happened. They just left Tofino.”

“Not at all and to a lot of people on the coast that knew Marcel as well,” said Joe Martin, an uncle of the missing men. “This does not make sense that that boat went down so easily in flat water here in the harbour. It was not rough at all.”

Carl said the boat had 1,000 pounds of halibut he had just caught and no fuel.

“No they were not fishing because they didn’t have any fuel in the boat,” said Carl. “I know my son wouldn’t go fishing without fuel.”

In a Facebook post, that’s since been deleted one of the survivors described it as a tragic accident:

“I managed to swim a couple hundred metres with shoes and clothes on in the Pacific Ocean back to shore with no life jacket,” wrote the man who’s identity CHEK News is not disclosing.

“They said it’s a miracle that I survived.”

“I wonder are they investigating?” asked Carl. “It doesn’t seem like it today.”

RCMP said the incident missing persons file only.

“To date, there is no evidence to suggest otherwise,” said Cpl. Tammy Douglas of Island District RCMP.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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