Bob Gainey with his daughter Laura.
It's been almost a year since that awful night, December 8, 2006, when hockey legend Bob Gainey got the phone call that told him his daughter, Laura, was missing in the turbulent waters of the Atlantic.
Unfortunate victim in the wrong place
Laura, a crew member on the tall ship Picton Castle, had been swept overboard as the ship sailed through a fierce storm and high seas on a voyage from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean island of Grenada. Laura's death was headline news across the country. In the days that followed, the explanation of how this could have happened seemed simple enough—the 25-year-old Laura had been an unfortunate victim, in the wrong place at the wrong time, swept away by a "rogue wave". The fact that she wasn't wearing a safety harness or even a life preserver didn't raise many questions at the time.
But, what really happened that night on board the Picton Castle?
Safety problems on the Picton Castle
Gillian Findlay and a fifth estate team have investigated the circumstances of Laura Gainey's death and her time on the Picton Castle and found a ship with serious safety problems. They also obtained copies of not one, but two, conflicting reports that were commissioned to investigate the incident. Reports that have never been made public.
Laura Gainey aboard the Picton Castle.
The first criticized the Picton Castle for sailing so late in the season, for being undermanned and not following basic safety rules. But, that report was shelved and a second--called by some a cover-up--was written. It praised the Picton Castle as well-run and safety-conscious and put much of the responsibility for the accident on Laura.
In OVERBOARD, you will meet some of Laura's fellow crew mates, eyewitnesses to the events of that fateful night in the Atlantic, you'll see video that they shot, and, for the first time, you'll hear from the man who felt the tragedy most deeply: Bob Gainey.