Another Life Lost in the Maritimes

Everyday during the fishing season, these men go to sea in their 50 foot vessels, trying to make a living.

When the boats are lost, there is a one pager in the local rag that may only be seen in the area and the rest of the world is not aware of how many lives are being lost.

These men are incredibly brave to carry on, because there is no doubt in my mind that if they haven’t lost a member of their own family, then they know of someone who has been lost at sea.

In small communities all over Atlantic Canada, there are Fishermen Memorials, with the names of the lost engraved on them. My heartfelt sympathy to the family of Yvon Boudreau

Boat sinks, fisherman drowns
By LAURA FRASER Cape Breton Bureau, Herald.ca

Three rescued on lobster season’s 1st day

Tragedy struck the first day of the lobster fishing season in northwestern Cape Breton Saturday when a 59-year-old man died after a boat sank beneath him and three other men.

Local residents identified the deceased as Yvon Boudreau of Cheticamp, father-in-law of Marcel Aucoin, the owner of the Craig & Justin.

Aucoin and the two other crew members, Roger Camus and Willie Deveau, were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Cheticamp. Two of the men were treated and released. One remained in hospital in stable condition Saturday afternoon.

The 13-metre boat began sinking about three kilometres from the shore of Margaree Harbour around 7 a.m., RCMP spokeswoman Brigdit Legere said Saturday. It was submerged 20 minutes after it started taking on water.

When nearby fishermen realized the crew of the Craig & Justin was in trouble, they changed course to help their comrades, she said.

The 4,000 people in the Cheticamp area rely on the ocean as one of the main providers of industry.

The first day of the season is considered one of the most dangerous for fishermen, as their boats are loaded down with traps and heavy cables.

Leger would not say whether the boat had too many traps aboard, or what caused the sinking.

“We will look at all angles to determine the cause of this tragic accident,” she said. “But right now we’re still in the preliminary stages of the investigation.”

The news of Boudreau’s death rocked this tight-knit fishing community, said Daniel Boudreau, an Inverness County councillor.

“The community’s quite in shock,” he said. “The fishermen are going to take it hard. They’re going to be a nervous lot.”

He said he knows the four fishermen well but is not related to the deceased.

About 10 years ago, a man in his 30s became tangled in a cable while setting traps on the first day of the season, the municipal councillor recalled, speaking slowly and with obvious emotion about both accidents.

“It’s dreadful,” he said. “Every time it happens, it’s just tragic.”

The president of the North of Smokey-Inverness South Fishermen’s Association said all the fishermen in Cape Breton are thinking of the four men and their families.

“Everybody that makes their living from the ocean really feels it when something like this happens,” Robert Courtney said.

“We do have our differences from time to time out on the water and everywhere else but at a time like this everyone feels bad for it, and condolences go out to the family.”

Courtney said he could not comment on whether he thought that any new regulations might make the first day of the season safer.

He said all of the men on board the Craig & Justin spent their lives on the water and proved themselves to be experienced fishermen.

“(Boudreau) fished all his life and managed to get through all that, and (was) always very cautious from what I could see,” Courtney said.

The provincial fisheries minister also extended his sympathy to the men and their community.

“There are a lot of opportunities to have training and I encourage people to have that (and) to be familiar with their boats and equipment,” Sterling Belliveau said.

“It is a sad day, and we have to endure these things, and then slowly try to move forward.”

lfraser@herald.ca
pictures from various internet resources

This article has 1 Comment

  1. We posted the news on our Facebook page (facebook/atlanticlobster) this morning as well – but just wanted to say that you've articulated this extremely well.

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