Rescuers tried to help young fishermen before wall of water hit boat

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Rescue teams tried to keep up the spirits of young fishermen on a boat in Canada before a wall of water crashed into the boat and killed them, documents state.

The tragedy occurred Feb. 17, 2013, after a storm hit the area and caused trouble for the ship, the Miss Ally.


The bodies of the crew members -- Billy Jack Hatfield, Joel Hopkins, Katlin Nickerson, Steven Cole Nickerson and Tyson Townsend -- were never recovered.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. obtained the official logs and documents concerning the search the ship, and discussions between Nickerson, the captain of the ship, and the rescue center.

After the storm hit, rescue officials told Nickerson to head for Sambro, a fishing community near Halifax, and checked in every hour to assess their progress, CBS reported.

"You just steer whatever course you think you need to steer. Forget about Sambro -- you steer whatever course you need to steer to keep her upright," a rescue official told the crew.

Records indicate that a wall of water measuring 65-feet high crashed into the boat, and the calls between the rescue officials and Nickerson stopped.


"Miss Ally has missed his com schedule by over 15 minutes. He was advised to call us every hour to inform us that all was well on board and if we did not receive his call we would be very concerned that something went terribly wrong," one of the last entries reads.

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