SeaBus crews do 360s to honour departed comrade


The SeaBus departs North Vancouver. file photo Cindy Goodman, North Shore News

Pilots tip their wings when a comrade dies. Sailors lower their flags. SeaBus captains do a 360.

People aboard the SeaBus found themselves participants in a tribute to a departed crew member on Thursday.

On May 15, a longtime marine attendant died. Because there aren’t many relief staff trained to operate the SeaBus, very few of his colleagues could attend his funeral on May 24. Instead, the captains on the water that day asked permission to do something to honour their friend’s memory in the middle of Burrard Inlet.

When the two vessels reached the mid-point of the trip, they each made a full revolution and then continued on their way.

“It’s a small group of staff we have. They work together week on, week off. They get really close. They tend to get close with customers as well. Regular commuters know a lot of these folks by their first names,” said Chris Bryan, TransLink spokesman. “I think for the people on the boats, it was probably a nice experience to be part of.”

Amanda Webster, North Vancouver resident who was aboard that day, said the captain made an announcement letting them know about 360, but it wasn’t until they were back on their way that they knew why.

“The waves kind of came up and the water got a little choppy and when it was completed … he said ‘Thanks for being patient and taking part in that. It was a tribute to a fallen comrade,’” she said. “Everyone clapped and it was very sweet.”

Bryan couldn’t release the name of the man who died but said he was well known and had worked on the SeaBus for 10 years.

“This guy was very friendly. He had a great sense of humour. He was 43 years old,” he said.

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