Nova Scotia

Shelburne lobster fisherman's brothers have questions after death

Jimmy Buchanan, 44, fell overboard while setting lobster traps about 50 kilometres off Cape Sable Island.

Jimmy Buchanan, 44, fell overboard and died Saturday while setting traps

Brothers of lobster fisherman who died after falling overboard off Nova Scotia say the loss feels 'unreal'

5 years ago
Duration 1:28
Jimmy Buchanan, 44, fell overboard while setting lobster traps about 50 kilometres off Cape Sable Island.

The brothers of the Shelburne, N.S., lobster fisherman who died Saturday after falling overboard say they still have questions about how it could have happened.

Jimmy Buchanan, 44, fell out of a fishing boat while setting lobster traps about 50 kilometres off Cape Sable Island. 

"Why wasn't somebody looking and why, when they hollered back, they say, 'Where's Jim?' How come somebody on deck didn't see him go or whatever? It's just mind boggling," said Michael Buchanan, Jimmy's youngest brother.

'Somebody should have seen something'

Michael Buchanan said he views the death as an accident, has "no bad feelings" towards the other crew on the boat, but wants to know what happened. Older brother William Buchanan agreed.

"Somebody should have seen something but the way it's going right now, nobody did and that's odd. Somebody should have at least seen him go over," he said.

Nova Scotia's Department of Labour is investigating the incident as it was a workplace death, but it could be years before the investigation is complete. RCMP say the death is not suspicious.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada, meanwhile, is deploying a team of investigators to Shelburne.

Jimmy Buchanan leaves behind a wife, three children and a granddaughter. 

"He loved his family, he did. He thought the world of his kids and his wife. He loved to go fishing. He would do anything for anybody. He didn't have the word, 'No,' in his vocabulary," said Michael Buchanan.

Jimmy Buchanan's brothers Michael (left) and William say he was a family man who thought the world of the crew on his fishing boat. (Dave Laughlin/CBC)

'I have no bad feelings'

Michael Buchanan is also a fisherman and said the death of his brother will make it difficult to get back out on the water.

"It's hard but you have to go back out and see if you can do it," he said.

"Nobody knows. I have no bad feelings. It's an accident, that's the way I think. It's an accident."

He said his brother "thought the world of the people on that boat." 

"Me and him talked a lot. It was like a big competition," Michael Buchanan said. "I was on one boat and he was on the other and he would call me one day: 'What'd you get?' And you'd lie a little bit and there was no way you could beat them.

"It was friendly. This was our time of year and it will never be again."

With files from Preston Mulligan