Uchuck III skipper retires

Fred Mather retired from Get West Adventure Cruises after almost 18 years onboard the MV Uchuck III.

Uchuck III skipper and co-owner Fred Mather has retired from operating the vessel out of Gold River.

Captain and co-owner, Fred Mather retired from Get West Adventure Cruises on Nov. 1 after almost 18 action-packed years onboard the MV Uchuck III.

“We already miss Fred’s laugh around here,” said Alberto Girotto, co-owner at Get West Adventure Cruises in Gold River.

“Guests would always poke their heads into the wheelhouse when Fred was on board just to see what was so funny.”

Working on the water for more than 42 years, Mather started out on fishing trollers from his hometown of Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Before joining the Get West Adventure Cruises crew in 1994 as captain and co-owner, Mather has also served as captain onboard the pilot boat R.D. Riley and the coastal freighters MV Lady Rose and MV Frances Barkley out of Port Alberni.

“Fred was a respected captain who loved to share the beauty of the area and his job with our many guests. He also had a particular soft spot for Luna,” Girotto said, recalling the famous orphaned orca that frequented the Nootka Sound area.

“Not only did he stop to let our guests see Luna but he also kept an eye on him in the evenings, making sure that visitors acted responsibly around the whale.”

Luna wasn’t Mather’s only memorable wildlife encounter during his years with Get West. Alone on the MV Uchuck III one evening, Mather heard some odd noises coming from inside the ship. After discovering that a door had been left open, he continued down below to investigate and was met face to face with a large black bear happily eating a dish of rice pudding.

“Luckily, the bear was only interested in the pudding and both it and Fred took off screaming in opposite directions,” Girotto said.

Now enjoying retirement, Mather plans to travel with his wife Glenda, and work with his local church in Port Alberni.

Just Posted

Learn about solar panels with Alberni Valley Transition Towns

Monthly meeting will feature a talk from a solar panel expert

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Jim’s Clothes Closet celebrates 50th anniversary

Store began in Port Alberni, expanded on Vancouver Island and beyond

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs victorious at home

Goaltender John Hawthorne earns second shutout

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Most Read