Every­one safe

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY ALI­SON AULD

Nova Sco­tia school ship sinks off Brazil.

the boat sank but that Elysha was OK.

“I’m wor­ried about my daugh­ter — very, very wor­ried about my daugh­ter,” said Shel­ley Piller. “I’ve got no in­for­ma­tion. I’ve got noth­ing. We want to know our girl’s OK.”

Physics and math teacher Kate Braed­ley joined the Con­cor­dia in Septem­ber. Her mother, Marie Braed­ley, said she spent a sleep­less Thurs­day night check­ing her email for any up­dates on her 24-year-old daugh­ter’s sta­tus.

“I was in to­tal shock. I couldn’t breathe and my heart was racing,” Braed­ley said, re­call­ing her phone con­ver­sa­tion with Knight from her home in Truro.

Braed­ley, orig­i­nally from Syd­ney River, is anx­iously wait­ing to talk to Kate.

“ We’ve been as­sured that they’re all safe, all aboard the ship head­ing for Rio.”

Of­fi­cials with the Brazil­ian navy said the 64 crew — in­clud­ing 42 Cana­di­ans — were on two mer­chant ships that were ex­pected to ar­rive in Rio some­time Satur­day.

Rear Ad­mi­ral Leonardo Pun­tel said two of the peo­ple suf­fered mi­nor in­juries, but didn’t know the na­ture of their in­juries, and said the rest ap­peared to be in good con­di­tion.

He said an emer­gency bea­con was de­tected Wed­nes­day night but it wasn’t clear when the ship sank or how long the crew mem­bers were in the life-rafts. It’s pos­si­ble, he said, they were in the rafts for up to 24 hours.

Reached on board one of the com­mer­cial ships, a man who iden­ti­fied him­self as the cap­tain of the Con­cor­dia said he didn’t want to dis­cuss the crew’s or­deal.

“ Well, not at this time,” Bill Curry said from the Hokuetsu De­light.

“ We are still en­gaged in the process of get­ting the kids ashore, so I have no com­ment at this time.”

Edgardo Ybanez, cap­tain of the Hokuetsu De­light, said 44 crew mem­bers of the Con­cor­dia were on board the ves­sel, but de­clined to of­fer more de­tails.

“Ev­ery­body is OK,” he said. “ That’s all I can tell you now.”

The head of the school, Kate Knight, said the 64 peo­ple in­cluded 48 stu­dents in grades 11 and 12 and first-year uni­ver­sity. Most are from Canada, with the rest from the U.S., Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Mex­ico, Europe and the West Indies.

Knight said they got word Thurs­day morn­ing that a dis­tress sig­nal had been picked up from the ves­sel and an air and sea search com­menced.

The life-rafts were spot­ted from the air around 8 p.m. AT on Thurs­day, she said, adding that they had no in­for­ma­tion on what caused the Con­cor­dia to sink.

Pun­tel said he had heard re­ports from the crew that the ship took on wa­ter and cap­sized in waves that mea­sured 2.5 me­tres, buf­feted by winds that gusted up to 50 kilo­me­tres an hour.

The ship had left Brazil’s north­east on Feb. 8 and was ex­pected to dock in Mon­te­v­ideo, Uruguay, on Tues­day be­fore head­ing to the U.K.

The school’s web­site says the Con­cor­dia was built in 1992 and meets the re­quire­ments for safety.

Sub­mit­ted by Marie Braed­ley

Kate Braed­ley of Truro is shown in front of the Con­cor­dia in Lunen­burg, N.S. prior to leav­ing on the 10-month voy­age.

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