Family members have identified a fisherman who died in the water off Port Alberni early Wednesday morning.
The man who died was Son Ho and his daughter released this statement Wednesday afternoon.
“My dad was an honest, hardworking and beautiful person who cared so much for those around him. He gave all he could to those around him and never asked for anything in return. He taught us how to be good people through his actions. We love him so much and we will miss him with all of our hearts,” Hellen Ho wrote.
Dozens of commercial vessels were out fishing in the Alberni Inlet when they saw a lone fisherman go overboard with his net.
The commercial chinook fishery had opened at 8 p.m. and there were over 100 boats in the Port Alberni harbour.
One of the 10 fishermen who were near Ho said his hand got caught in the net and the net was pulled down. Witnesses also reported the boat, named the Sharron-Lynn after one of his daughters, was still in gear.
“I know him 30 years, we were good friends,” said longtime friend and fellow fisherman Tin Lam.
Lam said he even heard his friend Son Ho’s cries as his arm became trapped in the fishing net he was throwing over and into the water, just before it dragged him under.
“And he said ‘help, help, help’ me and then other boat that was closer come forward,” said Lan.
Nearby fisherman immediately responded, attempting to remove the fisherman from the net, but the weight of his catch complicated his removal.
A local First Nations man pulled the fisherman out of the water 15 minutes later.
Ho was finally removed from the water and brought to shore, where the BC Ambulance and Port Alberni Fire Department were.
Officials say the boat is registered in Surrey to the deceased fisherman. The death isn’t considered suspicious at this time. The BC Coroners Service is now in the early stages of its investigation. RCMP and WorkSafeBC are also investigating the incident.
“It’s an eerie feeling,” said Alberni fisherman Tim Taylor as he prepared to head out fishing Wednesday night.
“You go over, you’re by yourself, it’s what can you do what can you say? It’s not something you wanna wish on anyone you know,”
Ho leaves behind four children.