BEACH POINT, PEI – A GoFundMe account has been set up for the daughter of a Weymouth man as she copes with his death following a fishing boat collision in Prince Edward Island over the weekend that claimed the lives of two people.
Chris Melanson, of Weymouth, Digby County, was visiting his daughter Isabelle Melanson in PEI. They were on a lobster fishing trip on June 9, something Mr. Melanson loved to do, when tragedy struck. The fishing boat they were on and another vessel collided. The other person who died was 20-year-old Montague resident Justin MacKay.
The PEI community is in shock and mourning, as are family and friends of the two men who lost their lives.
A GoFundMe account has been set up by a friend for Isabelle Melanson who witnessed her father’s death. Melanson leaves behind three daughters.
“His daughter, Isabella Melanson, was also one of the members on the boat that had to witness this unfortunate event,” reads the GoFundMe page. “The two of them went out lobster fishing as that was something that Chris loved to do. The accident happened so fast but Chris passed away out on the water doing something he loved.
“Bella is unable to work at this time as she experienced this tragedy right in front of her eyes. Any donations will be go to Isabella to help her financially over the next couple weeks so she can take the time to be with her friends and family,” reads the fundraising account. The funeral was to be held in Weymouth.
On the GoFundMe page people have been making donations and expressing their condolences.
"Chris always had a smile for everyone," posted one person.
"Our thoughts are with everyone touched by this unforunate accident. So very sad," said another person.
A GoFundMe account has also been set up for the family of the other victim of the accident, to help ease his family’s financial burden when it comes to funeral costs as they grieve their loss.
According to media reports, one of the lobster boats was on its way back to shore and the other was buoyed when the collision occurred about nine kilometres offshore on Saturday, June 9 near Beach Point, PEI. There were eight crew members between the two boats, including the two victims.
The collision occurred between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Murray Harbour Fire Department, RCMP and Island EMS and DFO were among those who responded to the collision. There was a somber feeling around Beach Point wharf last Saturday as members of the community quietly hung around well into the afternoon while officials conducted their investigation. Pastor Scott Herring, of Murray Harbour Baptist Church, later said a feeling of devastation had come over the community.
The collision has been under investigation and review by several agencies, including the RCMP, Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
MLAs in PEI’s legislature gave condolences on Tuesday, June 13, for the men who died after two lobster boats collided near Beach Point on the weekend.
In the legislature Belfast-Murray River MLA Darlene Compton rose in the house before Tuesday’s question period, saying the community is in shock, and everyone she talked to on the weekend had heard about the accident.
“It just hit them right in their heart. It’s a tragedy,” she said.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan introduced a motion, with support from the other party leaders, to “honour and remember those who have lost their lives” and those who mourn the men’s deaths.
“It’s certainly with a heavy heart that we make this motion and extend our condolences today,” the premier said.