It’s possible to mourn a boat.
Once the gale has passed, the rains have stopped, and skipper and crew have been accounted for, it is possible to mourn for the sunken ship. This is especially true for those old, wooden ships that have been plying the waters so long no one really remembers them when they still smelled of fresh-hewn wood.
The Western Commander was a ship that will be mourned. Built in New Westminster’s bustling wartime boatyards in 1943 and lost on April 9, 2018, the 70-foot wooden packer was among the last of her kind still actively fishing B.C.’s waters.
“She was a really dandy boat, and a favourite boat for a lot of people,” recalled Dave Lansdowne, who owned and skippered the Western Commander for a season, seining salmon in the late 1990s.