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Kings County community devastated by two deaths in boat collision

BEACH POINT, P.E.I. - The community of Murray Harbour is in mourning after two men died during a collision between two fishing boats on Saturday, says a pastor from the area.

Pastor Scott Herring, of Murray Harbour Baptist Church, said there’s a feeling of devastation that’s come over the community.

Residents are showing their support to one another through phone calls and visits, he said.

“As a congregation, we held prayers for the whole community. People are reaching out to one another to offer supports behind the scenes. It’s happening in different forms,” he said. “But there’s devastation.”

Cpl. Gregg Garrett of the Kings District RCMP said the two fishing vessels collided about nine kilometres offshore of southeastern P.E.I. on Saturday. Only one of the boats was able to be returned to shore.

The collision occurred between 10:30 and 11 a.m.

There was a somber feeling around Beach Point wharf on Saturday as members of the community quietly hung around well into the afternoon while officials conducted their investigation.

One fisherman said he didn’t know many details and didn’t want to ask too much about the incident because he was scared to find out the answers.

Garrett said RCMP have notified the victims’ family members.

Murray Harbour Fire Department and Island EMS also responded to the collision.

On Saturday, an RCMP spokesperson said officers were still in the preliminary stages of an investigation.

Officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Transport Canada and Victim Services were also at the wharf on Saturday.

A statement provided by DFO on Sunday said members of the department and the Canadian Coast Guard were saddened by the tragic deaths.

“The department has been assisting the RCMP and other investigating authorities when requested,” said the statement. “Because the matter is under investigation, the department will not provide further comments.”

The Guardian was unable to reach RCMP or Transport Canada on Sunday for an update to the investigation.

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