The tall ship is the
A terrible loss
On Friday, December 8, the
Search and rescue efforts began immediately. Assisted by fixed wing aircraft from the Canadian and United States Coast Guard, as well as two merchant vessels, the
So it’s all a matter that “the ship's decks were overwhelmed by an unusually large wave” which is clearly a case of encountering freaque waves. But the case took on colossal world wide media attention when it was noted that the young woman, who was initially reported only as “a volunteer crew member in her 20s,” turned out to be the daughter of the hockey legend Bob Gainey. As the Montreal Gazette comments:
The highly public search for Laura Gainey in the waters of the
Every parent will understand the impact of the sudden, arbitrary loss of Laura Gainey on her family and friends. Because her father Bob Gainey is so well known as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, the story of her being washed overboard from a sailing ship has made headlines, here and around the world. But for those personally close to Laura, the emotional shock is in no way reduced by being shared so widely.
Indeed this is just another case among all the “unceasing tolls the sea has exacted all through the history of seafaring” from freaque waves, only this time it’s happened to a notable person. The Gazette article fittingly concluded with:
Having a celebrity in the family can multiply the newsworthiness of a particular tragedy. But the rogue wave of loss and agony that survivors must endure is of the same magnitude in every sudden death.
I too wish to extend my prayer and sympathy to the Gainey family. I must admit that not being a Hockey fun, I did not know who Bob Guiney was previously. As a freaque wave researcher I would also like to make note of two further points: First, it was reported that the young lady was “in a safe area on deck when the freak wave swept across and violently rocked the vessel,” so it it is self-evidently clear that whenever or whereever freaque waves hit, there is really no place on deck that can be considered as safe! Second, this freaque wave encounter took place in the purlieus of