In the early hours of an October morning in 2009, Captain Dean Hynes and his four-man crew were looking forward to getting home after a long evening and night mackerel seining off Stephenville on Newfoundland’s southwest coast.
Dean, from Fox Island River, was captain and owner of the Blue Islander, a 45-foot seiner. His crewmembers consisted of three brothers, who were also Dean’s cousins — Wally, Paddy and Doug Leroy. The fifth man was Shane Lafitte, a new addition to the crew. Shane ...
Dreamboat Turned Nightmare – Part V
Captain Byron Oxford and his eight-man crew survived a harrowing ordeal after the fishing vessel Atlantic Charger sank south of Baffin Island in September 2015.
For some of the survivors, the experience will haunt them forever. Captain Oxford said he battled anxiety while at sea for several months after the incident.
For the vessel’s owner, his battle was different and started after the loss of the Charger.
For nearly nine months following the loss of his vessel, Brad Watkins dealt ...
Dreamboat Turned Nightmare — Part IV
After tossing around in 20-foot seas in the Davis Strait for eight or nine hours, Captain Byron Oxford and his eight crewmembers heard the distinct sound of a ship’s horn. Looking through the canopy opening of their life raft, they saw a large ship in the distance. Approximately an hour later, the ship drew near and attempted to rescue the crew of the Atlantic Charger, but getting a small rubber raft safely alongside a large steel ship in heavy seas was not an easy task — let alone getting ...
Dreamboat Turned Nightmare — Part III
Jumping from a sinking ship into a bitterly cold ocean just south of the Arctic Circle was the most daunting event in the lives of Captain Byron Oxford and eight crewmembers of the fishing vessel Atlantic Charger. But they had no choice. On September 22, 2015, their vessel was filling with water and listing badly to starboard. Their only hope was to try and get into a rubber life raft and hope the raging seas didn’t kill them. This is Part III of ‘Dreamboat Turned Nightmare.’
Slick Methods Used to Assess Manolis L Oil Tanks
Coast Guard Awaiting Report on Best Options to Deal With Worrisome Shipwreck
The North Atlantic is littered with shipwrecks from the many vessels sunk during times of war to the countless others claimed by raging storms, heavy seas and groundings, ice damage, and mechanical failure and fire.
What’s different about the old rusting shipwreck MV Manolis L, however, is the huge amount of oil still in its cargo tanks as it lies in 200 feet of water on the seabed in Newfoundland’s Notre Dame ...
Dreamboat Turned Nightmare — Part II
The Atlantic Charger was probably the best equipped Newfoundland vessel in its class in 2015, but the Northwest Atlantic Ocean once again demonstrated its awesome power when the Charger was trying to get home to Newfoundland after fishing turbot in the Davis Strait, east of Baffin Island. On September 22, 2015, two mighty waves overwhelmed the vessel. Captain Byron Oxford and his eight crewmembers were forced to abandon ship. Their struggle to survive rivaled scenes you only see in movies. This ...
UPDATED: Search for Missing Fishermen Changed to a Recovery Mission
Coast Guard officials have said the search for two missing fishermen has being handed off to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and has changed from a search and rescue effort to a recovery.
The RCMP said on Thursday that with the Coast Guard ceasing its search efforts at sea, they will now look to conduct a coordinated search from land.
Coast Guard personnel are continuing to search the Freshwater Bay area, outside St. John’s Harbour, for two missing fisher...
Dreamboat Turned Nightmare
The Atlantic Charger was an exceptional fishing vessel.
Built in 2012 at a cost of $2.5 million, the Charger was the most modern and best-equipped vessel in the Newfoundland and Labrador inshore fishing fleet.
Measuring nearly 70 feet long and 26 feet wide, it was one of the largest, if not the largest, vessel of its class. But no vessel is indestructible when confronted by the decimating powers of the northwest Atlantic Ocean, whether is due to ice infested waters or rough seas.
No Second Chance
Skipper Hubert Blanchard and his fishing crew were anxious to go crab fishing on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Crab catches had been improving that week and the weather forecast called for a fair day, so Hubert was up at daybreak getting things ready.
The 67-year old skipper from Gillams, on the north side of the Bay of Islands on Newfoundland’s west coast, normally fished with a two-man crew, but his older brother Bernie (Bernard) asked Hubert if he could join them that day. Bernie, a ...
On the Waterfront — July 2016
Lobster Boat Goes Down on Second Last Day of Season
The lobster boat Lois N II sank May 30 off the coast of Port La Tour, Nova Scotia.
Sub-Lt. Jamie Tobin, a spokesman for the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, said two fishing vessels collided around 9 a.m., the Chronicle Herald reported.
Lois N II began sinking, but the other vessel was in better condition and was able to take on the five-member crew of the sinking boat and transported them safely to shore.
The JRCC ...