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Three bodies recovered after search for three fishermen off Newfoundland

PLACENTIA BAY, N.L. - The family of one of three crab fishermen whose bodies were recovered Wednesday from Placentia Bay in Newfoundland is thanking the coast guard for its efforts in a heart-breaking search.

"They did a wonderful job, and the Hickey family is really glad that they were there to help us," Keith Hickey said from Southern Harbour on the northeast coast of Placentia Bay.

"They went over and above."

His brother, 48-year-old Kenneth Hickey, was a married father of three children. The two other fishermen have not been officially identified.

Search and rescue crews recovered the bodies of two of the men Wednesday morning and the third in the afternoon near their overturned boat, said Maj. Martell Thompson of the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax.

He said a search began Tuesday night when the men didn't return as expected to the village of Davis Cove, N.L., on the northwest side of Placentia Bay.

RCMP say weather conditions were good when the men left in their seven-metre open boat to check fishing pots around 5 a.m., but had deteriorated considerably by late morning.

When they hadn't returned by mid-afternoon, another fisherman went to look for them. Police say he notified the coast guard when he was unsuccessful.

Thompson said persistent bad weather, including high winds and low cloud cover, made the overnight search more difficult.

A number of aircraft and vessels such as a Cormorant helicopter from Gander, a Hercules plane from Greenwood, N.S., and a coast guard lifeboat helped find the men.

Thompson said RCMP are now investigating.

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