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2013 Atlantic Journalism Awards Finalists


Slug/Label Miss Ally tragedy
Date Aired or Published Feb. 26
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Shelburne County Coast Guard
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Shelburne, Nova Scotia
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

The Miss Ally and its crew of five young men ran into trouble late Sunday evening, Feb. 17 about 120 kilometres southeast of Liverpool returning from a halibut fishing trip. Caught in a huge storm, the last signal from the boat was from an emergency locator beacon. The Shelburne Coast Guard staff were on the story as soon as it broke and we followed it doggedly throughout the following days and weeks. We constantly reported updates to our website as hopes, at first high, were dashed as the hours turned into days. Our reporters were on top of every aspect of this story and as the reeality sank in, some difficult interviews were conducted with family and friends as we attempted to put out a package that captured the enormity of the loss to the local community. The stories in that issue were some of the most difficult any of us had ever written. As a community newspaper staff, we knew most these people personally. In the weeks that would follow we would cover the memorial services and fundraising efforts for the families left behind. We would also follow up on the many questions left in the wake of the tragedy. It was those first few days though I think that set us apart.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

The resources we had and used were an editor, one reporter and a part-time reporter, which is the entire Shelburne Coast Guard staff. For five days, all three worked well into the night in the effort to keep our website updated as thousands of people looked to us for the latest information. For the physical newspaper we pushed our final copy out within minutes of it heading to the presses.

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