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An RCAF Cormorant helicopter flies over the Bay of Fundy in Hillsburn, N.S., in an area where empty life-rafts from a scallop fishing vessel where reported on Dec. 15, 2020.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

The RCMP say they will be using a remote operated underwater vehicle in the search for five missing fishermen and their scallop dragger, which sank last month off southwestern Nova Scotia.

The Mounties say they recently received an ROV equipped with multi-beam sonar from RCMP in British Columbia and plan to use it beginning later today, when tidal conditions are optimal in the Bay of Fundy.

The force says the equipment is newer technology than had previously been used to search for the Chief William Saulis.

Story continues below advertisement

The announcement follows word last week from St. John’s, N.L.,-based firm Kraken Robotics Ltd., that it had received no response from the RCMP after offering its state-of-the-art sonar for use in the search.

The company’s technology was recently adopted by the Danish and Polish navies for mine-hunting operations and has been used successfully for numerous underwater searches for missing wrecks and aircraft.

After the sudden Dec. 15 sinking of the Chief William Saulis, the body of crew member Michael Drake was found, but crew members Aaron Cogswell, Leonard Gabriel, Dan Forbes and Geno Francis and captain Charles Roberts are still missing.

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