Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation chief and volunteers search for remains of missing fishermen near Tofino


WATCH: An intense search is underway in the waters and shoreline of Echachist Island off Tofino. Search crews are hoping to find the remains of three missing fishermen whose boat capsized over one month ago. So far, one unidentified body was found cradled in kelp beds on Wednesday and now, it’s renewed hopes of closure for the families of the missing men. Our Skye Ryan now with the effort to bring the men home.

With boats on the water, searchers onshore and a diver, Tla-o-quia-aht were scouring the water today around Echachist Island where a kayaker found one body Wednesday, just two nautical miles from where the fishermen’s boat sunk on June 15.

“I want to bring the brothers home. I want to do everything I can to help bring them home,” Gene Antoine, a volunteer diver with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation said.

Everyone involved in the search knows the missing men. They were fishermen who set off on June 15 on a boat with a total five men aboard. Only two came home. One man swam to shore and the other was rescued by a Canadian Coast Guard vessel.

Missing still are Marcel Martin, Carl Michael Jr. and Terrance Brown Jr.

“It’s really difficult to deal with because the three missing persons are all my grandsons,” Moses said.

So Tla-o-qui-aht searchers suit up to do the heartwrenching work that the missing fishermen’s families need for closure.

“We’re doing it for the children, for the families, for the wives,” Elmer Frank, a search manager with the Tla-o-qui-aht search crew, said.

“We fished together and its quite emotional but we’re out here today and for the last five weeks to do a job for the families.”

To five heartbroken children of the three men, Tofino’s grieving community has launched a GoFundMe, which has raised almost $40,000 so far.

So far only that one body, some clothing and a wallet of one of the missing men has been found but searchers say they will keep looking until they find more. They expect to be in and on the water for days to come.

“I think it will put a big smile on my heart knowing that I can take them home,” Antoine said.


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