60 boats, coast guard, searching for man overboard off P.E.I. North Shore

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Firefighters from the area have been helping in the search along with Coast Guard and other local fishermen. (Julien Lecacheur/Radio-Canada)

The Canadian Coast Guard, local fishermen, firefighters and police are searching off the North Shore of eastern P.E.I. for fisherman Jordan Hicken who went overboard early this morning.

Maj. Mark Norris, officer in charge of the Joint Rescue Centre in Halifax, said the call came in just before 5:30 a.m. about a man in his early 20s who went into the water near Naufrage.

Some of what is believed to be Hicken’s clothing has been found in the water and they are now searching that area, Norris said early this afternoon. 

Jordan Hicken went overboard early Tuesday morning. ( Jordan Steven Lee Hicken/Facebook)

‘They’re all coming from all over which is good,’ says local fisherman Colby Cheverie of the search for Jordan Hicken. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Hicken is from Montague and was fishing with his father, Trevor Hicken. His family says he is an experienced fisherman who has fished for several years, including in Nova Scotia.

St. Peters Fire Department is also involved along with the RCMP and they’ve established a command post in the area and are assisting in searching the shoreline, Norris said.

A coast guard vessel from Souris is also on the scene along with a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft. A second vessel from the Gaspé is on the way.

As many as 60 local boats have been involved in the search, from Naufrage, North Lake and Redhead harbours.

The search is being made easier by relatively calm currents so the search area is not moving very much, Norris said. Buoys dropped in the water to track currents and gather other data measured the water temperature at 4 C.

“We went down this morning after we heard and had a quick look but there’s not much we can do. The right people are looking for him, hopefully he’ll be found soon,” said local fisherman Colby Cheverie after he came back to port. 

“It’s a little upsetting. He’s a good friend, we’ve been friends for a long time, went to school together, so it’s a little nerve wracking,” Cheverie added. 

‘There were quite a few local vessels in the area at that point. There was about 40 vessels in the vicinity that commenced searching almost immediately,’ says Maj. Mark Norris, officer in charge of the Joint Rescue Centre in Halifax. (Julien Lecacheur/Radio-Canada)

Cheverie noted the weather on the water is “a little foggy.”

St. Peters Deputy fire Chief Dean Lewis said visibility is not good.

“It is overcast. You can’t see very far. It’s a challenge,” said Lewis.

This area of the North Shore is a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone, he said, and there is a lot of anxiety as the search goes on.

Local fire departments are helping with the search along the shore. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

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