Fishing community unites behind shipwrecked woman

  • Jun. 10, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Elaine Campbell’s recent six day ordeal and rescue has made a deep impact on Queen Charlotte’s fishing community.Ms Campbell of Courtenay was with her partner Fred Wydener when their aluminum boat capsized May 30 in Tian Bay on the west coast of Graham Island. She spent six days with almost no food and was rescued June 5, while Mr. Wydener is still missing.In addition to giving moral support to Ms Campbell, a local team has been organized to find and bring in the Ocean Gem, their fishing boat. Without Mr. Wydener, Ms Campbell has lost her income this season, said Queen Charlotte’s Mike Meegan.”Since fishing permits are transferable, I believe Lindsey Doerksen has offered to take over the license and fish for Campbell this season,” said Mr. Meegan. With such support, financial worries will be one less thing she has to contend with in her recovery. Mr. Meegan is maintaining contact with Ms Campbell and will continue to offer his support and the support of the community. She returned Wednesday to Courtenay, following three days in the Queen Charlotte hospital.”Everyone has great sympathy for her plight,”says Queen Charlotte Mayor Carol Kulesha. Ms Kulesha is a former long-time fisher. “When you’re fishing, the water is unforgiving and the fishing community has always given a tremendous amount of support to each other. That’s how we survive.”