New Brunswick

Double catch of rare lobsters a gift says Escuminac fisherman

Escuminac fisherman Gary Robichaud wonders if his luck of catching not one, but two rare coloured lobsters Tuesday morning was a sign for helping save a young boy from drowning a few days earlier. 

Catching two coloured lobsters, one blue and one calico, comes days after child saved from drowning

Escuminac fisherman Gary Robichaud, left, holds the blue lobster caught in one of his traps Tuesday. About 15 minutes later, a calico lobster was found in another trap. With him are his three sons, Alex, Zachary and Sylvain. (Submitted/Sylvain Robichaud)

Escuminac fisherman Gary Robichaud wonders if his luck of catching not one, but two rare coloured lobsters Tuesday morning was a sign for helping save a young boy from drowning a few days earlier. 

"It was probably a gift for rescuing that little boy." 

A fisherman for 42 years, Robichaud was out fishing lobster with his three sons - Alex, Zachary and Sylvain - when they found a blue lobster in a trap. 

After celebrating that catch, taking pictures and posing with the bright blue lobster they were even more surprised when 15 minutes later another rare coloured crustacean was found trapped inside another trap. 

Escuminac fishermen Gary Robichaud celebrated not one, but two rare finds in his lobster traps Tuesday. After finding a rare bright blue lobster in a trap, the crew, made up of his three sons discovered an even rarer calico coloured lobster in another trap 15 minutes later. 0:52

The market sized lobster was calico coloured, another rare catch for the fisherman. Asked if this had ever happened before, Robichaud said no.

"It's never happened to me," he said of catching two rare coloured lobsters on the same day. 

But Robichaud said he will take it all as signs of the good luck he's been experiencing including how things fell into place during the rescue of a 10-year-old boy May 29. 

'We saved him by seconds'

The bright blue lobster was donated to the New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine Centre in Shippigan and will be on display there in a tank with other rare coloured lobsters. (Submitted/Sylvain Robichaud)

That evening, the fisherman, who lives close to the Escuminac Wharf, received a call from the owners of the nearby campground asking him for help to rescue a young boy.  

"He was on the water with a rubber raft and the wind was taking him away." 

Robichaud, his son, Zachary, brother-in-law Wilfred Poirier, and friend Joe Gallant rushed to the wharf and by the time he had the boat started, they had the ropes untied. 

"Luckily when we got to the wharf there were no boats tied on to me."

They rushed out to where they could see the raft but Robichaud said there was no one in it. 

"It was rolling in the wind." 

Fearing the worst, Robichaud said his son Zachary spotted something a bit closer to the shore. 

"We rushed there and it was him. He was frozen, he could barely move. He could barely keep afloat. He said, 'Save me, save me, I'm drowning'." 

A life ring was thrown to the child and he was lifted into the boat, wrapped in a rubber coat and rushed to shore to a waiting ambulance. 

"We saved him by seconds, not minutes. He was done." 

Robichaud said the boy has recovered and he called the fisherman Saturday to thank him for rescuing him. 

Better chance to win lottery

You have a better chance of winning the lottery than catching a blue lobster and a calico lobster on the same day. (Submitted/Sylvain Robichaud)

Seeing the catching of the two lobsters as a reward, Robichaud and his sons donated the blue lobster to the New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine Centre in Shippagan. It will be on display in a tank with other rare coloured lobsters caught in the province. 

While it was the third blue lobster he's caught in his years of fishing, Robichaud said he still feels lucky to catch one.

The aquarium's development and marketing coordinator, Laurent Robichaud said one in about two or three million lobsters turns out to be blue. 

Calico lobsters are even more rare with one in every 30 million showing up with various patterns. Robichaud and his crew threw it back in the water. 

Laurent Robichaud says, while it's rare to catch a blue lobster and even rarer to catch a calico coloured lobster, finding both on the same day is against the odds. 

"You have a better chance of winning the lottery practically. You know having two of these lobsters one right after the other is really, really remarkable." 

Asked if he had bought a lottery ticket, Robichaud said he hadn't but was probably going to go get one. 

 

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