Nfld. & Labrador

Fishing boat sinks same day as owner's burial

A shrimp boat sank this weekend while it was tied up at the wharf in St. John's, just hours before its owner was buried after a long battle with cancer.
Stan Bennett's shrimp boat sank beneath the waterline on Saturday, the same day he was buried. (CBC )

A shrimp boat sank this weekend while it was tied up at the wharf in St. John's, just hours before its owner was buried after a long battle with cancer, in an incident that the family describes as "spooky."

Stan Bennett died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Early on Saturday morning, the family learned that Bennett's vessel was taking on water while it was tied up at the small boat basin near Prosser's Rock, on the south side of St. John's Harbour. It continued sinking into the water, with most of it submerged despite efforts from the Canadian Coast Guard to pull it up.

Stan Bennett says his family was astonished to learn their father's boat was sinking while they were preparing to bury him. (CBC)

His son, also named Stan Bennett, said the circumstances — especially the timing — were bizarre.

"She's been out in storms, the spring of the year and the fall of the year. Hurricanes. For her to sink tied up at the wharf, in the middle of the summer, the word of the day is spooky," Bennett told CBC News.

"The day we put our father in the ground, his boat goes to the bottom of the harbour. What other word can you use?"

The cause of the problem has not yet been found.

The coast guard had been preparing for another attempt Monday to lift the boat with a crane.

Bennett said while the boat was insured, the family still take a financial hit because they will lose the rest of the shrimp harvesting season. He said the overall loss is more than $300,000.