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

Port Alberni co-ops targeted in different crimes

One break-and-enter, one case of graffiti at each gas station

Offroad racing happening at Alberni Motorsports Park July 21–22

Last mud truck event until September on the Port Alberni track

Lease agreement signed for Port Alberni oil spill response base

25-year lease agreement is part of a larger expansion plan

Cherry Creek sets water restrictions for summer 2018

Stage One water restrictions are in effect immediately

EDITORIAL: Rezoning would unravel red tape for business in Port Alberni

Harbour Quay is traditionally for tourist and marine-based businesses…

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

Most Read