South Slave

Names of missing fishers released as RCMP appeal for information


As a three-day search continues for a missing crew of four fishers, RCMP released their names in the hope that doing so may lead to new information from community members.

Three of the crew members are from the area of Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta. They are 51-year-old Daniel Courtoreille, 50-year-old Michael Courtoreille, and Jason Fulton, 40.

The fourth crew member is Stacy Linington, 59, of Hay River.

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Earlier on Wednesday, RCMP said rescue agencies were using an underwater robot to examine the crew's boat, which now lies submerged in Great Slave Lake

The fishers left Hay River early on Sunday morning to check their nets. When they failed to return, a police search began the following day.

Search and rescue teams spotted the fishers' submerged boat from the air near the west coast of Great Slave Lake on Tuesday. There was no sign of the fishers, police said at the time.

On Wednesday, RCMP said, search teams began using a remotely operated underwater vehicle – with sensors, a video camera and a lighting system – to examine the sunken boat, found at Windy Bay.

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What happened to the boat, and the men on board, remains unclear. Grid searches are being carried out by boat between the bay and the south shore of the lake.

Meanwhile, the families of those affected have been making their way to Hay River, where the town's friendship centre is providing what comfort it can.

The Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre opened its doors after an aunt of one missing man reported difficulty paying to stay in Hay River while waiting for news.

At least one of the fishers is from Alberta. Family members from the province have been travelling to Hay River since the search began on Monday.

"We'd like to ensure that they're being provided with food and a place to sit, if they want to be with the rest of the families," said Florence Brown, the centre's executive director. "So we just decided to open those doors."

What the friendship centre will provide and for how long depends on the needs of the families, Brown said. The hall was open on Wednesday afternoon and meals were being provided.

The centre is looking for donations of food such as breakfast items, ingredients for bannock and stew, and fresh fruit. The centre is also accepting cash donations toward family needs like gas and accommodation.

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