Community rallies support for lobster fisherman injured while working on engine of boat
HALIFAX -- Julie Smith is taking things day by day.
Her fiancée, Andrew Saulnier, has a long road ahead of him after the 24-year-old fisherman was seriously injured onboard on a lobster boat Saturday morning.
"He's got a lot of surgeries to go, but he just wants to be home," Smithsaid.
Emergency crews were called to the vessel on Camp Cove Wharf Road in Lower Argyle, N.S., just before 5 a.m.
"The man had been working in a fishing vessel around the engine, on some machinery around the engine area, and the vessel suddenly went into gear, which caused him to suffer some injuries," said Nova Scotia RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Chris Marshall.
The 24-year-old Saulnier was taken to the Yarmouth Regional Hospital before being airlifted to the QEII in Halifax, where Smith, who is six months pregnant, remains by his side.
She says he is communicating and is now able to eat again.
"They had to amputate his left leg above the knee, and they were thinking that they might have to amputate the right, but it's looking way better, so they're holding off on that," Smith said.
Back home in Yarmouth County, Saulnier's father and step-mom say support from the community has been overwhelming.
They have remained in constant contact with the vessel's captain who wanted to share this message.
"What he wants to say is that he wishes that that day had never happened and he wishes he could take it back, but unfortunately we can't," said Shelly Saulnier.
A GoFundMe page has been started to support Saulnier and his growing family. The family is also providing updates on his progress on the page. Several banks and businesses in the area are also accepting donations.
"It's amazing how people come together to try and help one-another," said Ward Saulnier.
Smith is grateful for the outpouring of support.
"I just wanted to say 'thank you' to everyone in the community who is helping out financially, and even if they're not helping financially and they're helping by sending thoughts and prayers -- that's just as important to us right now," Smith said.
Police say the incident is not considered suspicious.
The province's labour department has taken the investigation over and officials say a stop-work order has been issued on the vessel.