CORNER BROOK — A fire about a fishing vessel forced a Canadian Coast Guard rescue operation Tuesday evening.
Owned by Paul Loder of Englee, the P.J. Endeavor was fishing 90 kilometres south of St. Anthony when the engine room filled with smoke and the vessel lost power.
Loder and Bernard Gardiner, the other fisherman on the boat, sent out a mayday before seeking refuge in a life boat.
Jeri Grychowski, spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax, N.S. said once the mayday was received, the coast guard dispatched a CC-130 Hercules Helicopter to search for the men.
Once in the area, the searchers were unable to find the lifeboat and momentarily though the distress signal was a hoax, until they saw the Endeavor in flames.
“They couldn’t pick up a signal, they couldn’t pick up anything but then they spotted a boat on fire,” Grychowski said.
“Then they saw two people in a life raft, so we did our thing.”
After locating the men, the coast guard sent its vessel the Harp to pick them up and transport them to Englee, where they arrived in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The men were unharmed as a result of the incident, but their boat was described as a total loss.