Ten years ago today on February 17, 2013, five fishermen from Shelburne County were lost to the sea on the ‘Miss Ally,’ a fishing vessel based out of Woods Harbour.
The boat capsized after being hit by a large wave off the coast of Liverpool.
The loss of Captain Katlin Nickerson, Joel Hopkins, Cole Nickerson, Tyson Townsend and Billy Jack Hatfield continues to be felt to this day.
Our thoughts are with their families, loved ones, and communities on this sombre anniversary.
We join all Nova Scotians in remembering the crew, and strengthen our commitment to doing all we can to help Nova Scotians get home safely from work every day.
Following the Miss Ally disaster, safety leaders in Nova Scotia’s fishing sector came together with fishermen, owners, fleet managers and family members to form the Safe at Sea Alliance in 2014. Together, the group worked to address issues and strengthen the safety culture in the industry.
The Fishing Safety Now Action Plan was developed by the Safe at Sea Alliance, and outlined recommendations to help grow the industry’s safety culture.
Today, fewer fishermen are injured at work, and the assessment rate for the industry is roughly half of what it was in 2013. Still, Nova Scotians are dying at sea, and one fatality is too many. While there has been significant progress in changing the safety culture in the sector, there is always more to do.