Thursday, November 29, 2007

Remembering Laura -- a year later.

Last night, purely by chance and through channel surfing, I watched the second half hour of the CBC investigation news program "Fifth Estate" which was about the lost of Laura Gainey December 8, 2006 when a rogue wave was reported to have swept her overboard from the tall ship Picton Castle near the Gulf Stream in north Atlantic. I blogged about the case a year ago. I watched the program with mixed feelings.

Since I did not watch the beginning, what I did see was mainly on the inadequacy or lacking of safety measure on the ship and that there seemed to be two conflict aftermath reports and therefore coverup was alleged. What I was somewhat disappointed was that there's very little discussion on the rogue wave aspect and what was actually happened. I got the impression that rogue wave was even generally dismissed as a cause of this tragic case. Of course if there was a cover-up, one can not help but share the angry and anguish of Laura's father, the legendary hockey great Bob Gainey, and this his heartsick comment:
Perhaps life jackets would be wise. Perhaps harnesses would be wise.
While I feel the CBC program seems to be only aimed at fixing blames on the company, I do also feel strongly that there is just no excuse for not requiring every one on board to wear life jacket or harness.

On the web site of Picton Castle there's a special web section called "Tribute for Laura" where I found the following poem:

From a former shipmate:

A Prayer for Laura

Sleep my little sister lost in the eternal womb of the sea.

Free from toil and strife, forever engraved in my memory

with the timeless beauty of one taken far too soon.

Journey my little sister lost to that undiscovered country

where the quick cannot land.

Your spirit soars at my masthead as the black crested seabird

showing me the way home.

Be at peace my little sister lost until that end of days when

all sailors are called home from the sea.

When once again we will rejoice in the company of shipmates

long departed and sorely missed.

Be at peace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you saw this part of the program, but the two former crew members interviewed reported that they didn't notice anything unusual about the waves--they were big, but within normal limits in a gale--and also that nobody mentioned "rogue waves" that night or in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

I agree, especially in a situation involving a lot of inexperienced crew, that safety equipment should have been ordered.

Anonymous here, but my blog is at