Uncle, nephew who died at sea in Lark Harbour tragedy remembered (2024)

Uncle, nephew who died at sea in Lark Harbour tragedy remembered (1)

Trevor Childs and his nephew Nicholas Skinner were the victims in this weekend's fatal boating incident on the west coast of Newfoundland. (Nautical Thrills/FaceBook)

Two generations of a family were lost after a boat capsized on Newfoundland's west coast this weekend, leaving a community in mourning.

On Sunday morning, after a vessel carrying six people capsized,the Canadian Coast Guard ship Cape Edensaw was dispatched from Lark Harbour to the west coast.

The coast guard launched a fast rescue craft into the water, recovering two bodies.

They were Trevor Childs and his nephew Nicholas Skinner, says Fish, Food & Allied Workers secretary-treasurer Jason Spingle.

"We had hoped that we wouldn't have to deal with this again. Andwe're here and we try to make the best of it. Again, in this case here too, two very young people, I think, makes it extra harder," Spingle told CBC News.

In 2022, Childs spoke with CBC News while attending a fish harvester safety association symposium in St. John's.

"On the ocean the weather changes minute by minute. As for myself, I fish in an open boat so I'm always aware of the weather," Childs said at the time.

Spingle said he knew Childs, describing him a "beautiful person. Very mild mannered and soft spoken."

A few years ago Spingle said he visited Childs's home and met his wife and children, andrecalled he was happy with his life and loved fishing.

"We were talking about ... a good future for him and his family," said Spingle.

He said a lot of people could relate to Childs, as a fish harvester from a rural town who was focused on his community, the outdoors and his family.

"It's just heartbreaking for them, right? Three small children," he said. "It's just hard to take down, really hard to take down that they don't have him anymore."

Spingle added that Childs's father is a recently retired harvester who was on the beach helping set the lobster traps and was there when the tragedy unfolded on Sunday.

Difficult season ahead

News of the deathstravelled across Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday and drewcondolencesfrom government officials and members of the fishing industry.

Spingle says the tragedy impacts people beyond the fishery.

"This is going to be a difficult season for everyone in the Bay of Islands," he said.

Uncle, nephew who died at sea in Lark Harbour tragedy remembered (2)

Residents of Lark Harbour have been rocked by the deaths of two fishermen after a vessel capsized on Sunday. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

On Monday night, mournershelda private vigil to offer support to those grieving in Lark Harbour and York Harbour.

"'Reeling' is the only word to really use. Nobody expects to lose anyone, let alone on the first day of the season.…And the way it went down, from what I understand, is devastating," Lark Harbour Deputy Mayor Ria MacDonaldtold CBC News onMonday.

"'Devastating' is too light of a term. It feels like the rug has been pulled right out from underneath us.…To lose not one, but two from the same family, it's unreal. It doesn't feel real."

Days after the deaths, details about the fatal incident are still unclear.

Initially Capt. Trevor Ackland, spokesperson for the Joint Task Force Atlantic in support of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre in Halifax, told CBC News that four people had been airlifted from a beach on the west coast and brought to hospital after a vessel was found capsized.

However, the DFO later amended this version of eventsand said the four were airlifted to shore where they were treated by paramedics.

It is unclear if those four people had been on the boat with Childs and Skinner when it was capsized or if they ventured into the water to help the pair.

The name of the vessel is also unknown, though officials initially reported it was called the Miss Jenny.

Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Hugo Fontaine said they were aware of the incident

"We are currently gathering information and assessing the occurrence. We haven't deployed investigators on site, and don't have much to share for now," he wrote in an email.

Support for families

Spingle said unfortunately, fatalities are a part of the industry, and the union has brought on measures to help their members through a life insurance policy as well as an accidental death and dismemberment policy.

There is a financial amount set for a natural death as well as a death deemed accidental, which also covers funeral expenses, said Spingle.In this case, he views itas an accidental death case and that will give some support to the family in the short-term.

In addition, he said this was a workplace fatality and there will be coverage under workers compensation through WorkplaceNL.

"So we'll make sure that people are helped out in any way they need to be," said Spingle.

Spingle said he plans to attend the funeral to pay his respects on behalf of the union.

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Uncle, nephew who died at sea in Lark Harbour tragedy remembered (2024)


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