Lobster trap tree commemorates lives of those lost at sea in N.S.
It started as a Christmas decoration -- and has taken on some additional meaning. A Maritime memorial dedicated to those who have lost their lives on the water is growing in Eastern Passage, N.S.
EASTERN PASSAGE, N.S. -- The lobster fleet in Eastern Passage was tied up Thursday because it was too windy and rough for them to fish, but that's not always the case when the weather is bad. It's a risk fishermen accept.
"I’ve been lucky enough to not have a boat go down under me, but there have been some close calls over the years," said Allan Henneberry.
Henneberry says anyone who fishes long enough will face some kind of adversity on the water.
"If something goes wrong in bad weather, you can correct it, usually," Henneberry says. "If two or three or four things go wrong at the same time, that’s usually when trouble occurs."
Seven years ago, Henneberry started building a lobster trap tree, decorated with lights and buoys that contain the name of a ship and its crew who didn’t make it home.
Next year, for instance, there will be a buoy dedicated to the scalloper and the crew that was lost in the Bay of Fundy two weeks ago.
The search for that vessel, the Chief William Saulis, is ongoing. Bad weather cancelled the air search on Thursday. A Canadian Coast Guard vessel is expected to arrive in Digby Friday to help the RCMP underwater recovery team perform sonar exploration for the missing ship and five of the six crew members who have yet to be found.
Henneberry says the fishing community is a tight one, whether you know the person on the boat next to you or not, so when one goes down, it affects everyone who makes a living on the water.
"When the Miss Ally went down, we actually came in from fishing that same night, and so that one really hit close to home, even though I didn’t know the crew," Henneberry said.
A crew who, like many others, will be remembered on the Eastern Passage memorial.