CALGARY â€” Alvin Beckley wasn’t a big fan of fishing but his brother-in-law says Beckley probably couldn’t resist when he had a chance to join his workmates for a day on the water just off the west coast of Vancouver.
Beckley, 38, of Calgary and Mike Cutler of Edmonton died Sunday when the boat they were on capsized and sank. Three others â€” two passengers and the boat’s operator â€” survived.
“I don’t know that he necessarily fished often but he was in Tofino and you definitely want to do that when you’re there,” Mike Provost said Wednesday.
“He was in Tofino so you gotta get out and catch some big fish. They had Sunday off and they decided to go fishing as a group to go and enjoy themselves.”
Beckley was originally from Sierra Leone, but grew up in Alberta with his parents. He was an apprentice electrician and had been working on a construction crew in remote areas.
He leaves behind his wife, Jacqui, and three daughters.
“It’s been tough for sure. He’s got three little girls and it’s been a lot of tears and sadness, but also a lot of good fond memories,” Provost said. “It’s always good to reflect on the good times.”
Provost added his brother-in law always had “a big happy smile.”
“He would always find a funny perspective and kind of crack a lot of jokes. It was always happy times with him. He was a loving father and a great husband.”
The capsizing of the 8.4-metre-long boat northwest of Bartlett Island near Tofino is being investigated by the RCMP and the Transportation Safety Board.
“We don’t have a lot of answers at this current time. There are still investigations going on,” Provost said.
“Eventually we will get to speak with the surviving members. I’m sure it was extremely tough for everybody involved in that whole scenario. We will get some more answers and clarity in the coming days for sure.”
Provost said Beckley had been diagnosed with diabetes several years ago and complications in regulating the disease had prevented him from being steadily employed in recent years.
GoFundMe pages have been set up for both the Alberta men.
“It’s for the girls especially. Alvin having diabetes and (being) the primary provider for the family … they had been having some struggles over the past little while in relation to that. They were just kind of getting back on their feet. The girls will need a lot of support.”
Cutler’s family didn’t respond to a request for comment, but his fundraising page requested help to bring his body back to the east coast.
“Mike was a loving friend, musician and one hell of an electrician. Although Mike is no longer with us, I guarantee nobody will forget his loving smile, constant jabs and sarcasm,” the page read.
“Mike left behind 2 boys, Morgan (17) and Mackenzie (15) who need our support now more then ever.”
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Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press