FanDuel - WFBC

December 11, 2006

Hall of Famer Gainey's Daughter Swept Off Ship in Storm : The daughter of hockey Hall of Famer Bob Gainey was swept off a Nova Scotia ship during an Atlantic storm, and Canadian and U.S. rescuers are looking for her in an extensive ocean search.

posted by wingnut4life to hockey at 12:59 AM - 11 comments

She is hardworking, someone who wanted to turn her life around. There's a little bit more on this from Michael Tutton of Canadian Press. The barque Picton Castle. The crew has a kind of blog (not recently updated).

posted by Amateur at 07:47 AM on December 11

Laura Gainey, a 25-year-old crew member whose father is the Montreal Canadiens general manager, was washed off the covered deck of a Caribbean-bound vessel by a large wave Friday night. A U.S. Coast Guard vessel searched through the night, and aircraft resumed searching at first light Sunday, Coast Guard spokeswoman Faith Wisinski said. They are scouring an area about 475 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass. Gainey had been in the water almost 40 hours without a lifejacket but was wearing warm protective clothing. Wisinski said the water is warm, but life-threatening hypothermia ordinarily sets in after 36 hours. The U.S. Coast Guard has sent a plane with infrared radar, cameras and a crew of eight. The Canadian search and rescue center sent a Hercules aircraft to the area. The vessel Mindanao, a civilian tanker, is participating in the search, along with Gainey's boat, the Picton Castle. Dan Moreland, senior captain of the Picton Castle, said Gainey is a volunteer on the tall ship. He called her a "well-loved crew member," who is very fit and a strong swimmer. Bob Gainey learned the missing woman was his daughter on Saturday. Players and coaches had a day off Sunday and were not available for comment. The team said "the thoughts and prayers of the entire Montreal Canadiens organization are with Mr. Gainey and his family." Bob Gainey is awaiting news on the search with his three other children, Anna, Colleen and Steve. The club said assistant general manager Pierre Gauthier will handle Gainey's responsibilities. Gainey also holds the title of executive vice president. Moreland described the situation as "completely devastating for everybody" on the vessel, which undertakes voyages around the world. He said hundreds of former crew members of the ship have been contacting the Lunenburg headquarters to express concern. "It could happen to any ship, to any captain," he said from headquarters. "And, from my point of view, it's the captain's greatest fear." Gainey first joined the ship as a trainee in Cape Town, South Africa, in the last three months of the ship's world voyage. "She is hardworking, someone who wanted to turn her life around. She was passionate about sailing, loves it and worked very hard," he said. "She was no slouch." The 180-foot ship serves as a training vessel. According to the ship's Web site, trainees learn "traditional seafaring skills" and need no prior sailing experience. They keep lookout, handle sails, raise anchor, haul lines and help in the galley. "All hands stand watch underway and in port." Bob Gainey, who turns 53 on Wednesday, won five Stanley Cups with Montreal during a 16-year career from 1973-89. He also won a championship as general manager of the Dallas Stars in 1999. His wife, Cathy, died of brain cancer in 1995 at 39.

posted by NoAirplay at 08:40 AM on December 11

My thoughts and prayers are with the Gainey family.

posted by wdminott at 08:48 AM on December 11

It sounds as if Bob Gainey is being tested to his limits. To lose a young wife and a beloved daughter within the span of a dozen years is a trial from which it is difficult to recover. If Mr. Gainey's heart performs as well as he did on the ice, he will be OK. I read the article with mixed emotions. I was saddened that a young lady, in the process of maturing and finding her passion in life, could be taken. Yes, I know that there is still hope of finding her, but it is dimming fast. My other emotion is one of anger and outrage. How can any professional seaman allow his crew to move about on weather decks during heavy sea conditions without a lifejacket, without a safety line, with no safety nets rigged (at least there was no mention of them), and most importantly, alone (again, the article makes no mention of any witness to her being lost). Having a second person with you might not prevent your being swept overboard, but you would be reported as missing immediately, and the search area becomes much smaller. I read part of the blog that Amateur linked. Having spent a couple of years aboard an aircraft carrier, I can easily understand the love one has for his ship and for the sea. I cannot describe what I felt whenever we got underway, nor can I describe my feelings for the ship (USS Midway). My wife, a Navy brat herself, knows there's another love in my life. Laura Gainey was doing something that she loved.

posted by Howard_T at 09:03 AM on December 11

.

posted by garfield at 09:34 AM on December 11

I don't understand why NoAirplay decided to copy and paste the story from the link. It works for me, what about you guys? Although the Picton Castle website is blocked on my work computer. It's telling my that I'm not authorized... I know that hope is fading, but I don't want to offer my condolences until there's absolutely no hope left in finding her. Bad Karma, I guess. Good luck, girl. I hope you make it!

posted by wingnut4life at 11:09 AM on December 11

Humming "Eternal Father, Strong to Save"(yes, I know she's not Navy, but the principle applies) and praying like crazy here.

posted by alumshubby at 11:21 AM on December 11

My other emotion is one of anger and outrage. How can any professional seaman allow his crew to move about on weather decks during heavy sea conditions without a lifejacket, without a safety line, with no safety nets rigged (at least there was no mention of them), and most importantly, alone (again, the article makes no mention of any witness to her being lost). Having a second person with you might not prevent your being swept overboard, but you would be reported as missing immediately, and the search area becomes much smaller. It wasn't clear to me that there were no witnesses -- from the two articles, it sounded more as if there were others on deck who saw her go overboard. As for the rest, I've never been on a sailing ship in those conditions, and I suppose it's possible that there are things you need to do for the ship's survival that can't be done in a PFD and with safety line attached. Barring that, though, I don't see any reason for it. A good friend of mine lost a crew member while yacht racing. In daylight, surrounded by other boats, it took a long, long time to get her out of the water -- rescue is always, always harder than it seems it will be from the armchair. Afterwards, he said to me, "If you ever need to ask yourself whether you should be wearing a PFD, look between your feet and see if you see a boat." People survive horrific situations sometimes, and her profile sounds like she might be one who could do it. Here's hoping and praying that proves to be the case.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:44 PM on December 11

The latest: the US and Canadian coast guards have suspended their search, although the Picton Castle (the ship that Gaines went overboard from) and a merchant vessel continued to search.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:04 PM on December 11

As an avid sailor and offshore racer, I can say with certainty, that regardless of the size of the boat, sailing at night, in heavy seas is stupid without some sort of safety device. When working on deck there is no job that cannot be done while wearing an inflatable harness. Every offshore sailor should have an auto inflating harness with an attachment for teathering yourself to the boat. I can understand not being teathered in some cases but not wearing the harness is inexcusable and this poor girl paid for the mistake with her life. For what it is worth they make very comfortable harnesses that are little more than puffy suspenders when not inflated. They can also come equiped with sounding and signaling devices, strobe lites for night rescue and some even have gps locators or epirb devices. They will inflate on command or in the event the person is unable to inflate them, they inflate automatically when submerged. This is a tragic accident that could have easily been prevented, unless it was a suicide, negligence is involved. On a crewed ship of this size nobody should be on watch alone, and in rough seas nobody should be on watch without harness. Especailly on a sailing yacht that cannot be stopped or turned quickly.

posted by Atheist at 03:56 PM on December 12

There is no indication that she was on watch alone, Atheist.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:51 PM on December 12

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