Washed off a tall ship

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DEC. 13 — U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard officials Monday night suspended their aerial search for the daughter of hockey great Bob Gainey, three days after she was washed overboard during a storm off Massachusetts while working aboard the tall ship, Picton Castle.

Laura Gainey, who is 25, was washed from a stern deck Friday at about 9:30 p.m. in 40-knot winds and seas of more than 20 feet, nearly 500 miles off Cape Cod., Mass., the Coast Guard says. She was not wearing a PFD. Gainey was working as an unpaid trainee aboard the 180-foot three-masted bark, a sail training ship based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

“This is the worst possible thing to happen to a shipmate,” PictonCastle’s senior captain says in a news report.

Using C-130 airplanes, the Coast Guard searched 1,500 square miles for Gainey, the agency says. They were assisted also by the crew of the tanker Mindanao and the crew of the PictonCastle.

Laura Gainey, daughter of Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey, was said to be “living her dream” aboard the PictonCastle, news reports say. She reportedly battled drug addiction as a teenager after the death of her mother. She was hoping to become a professional sailor, according to her shipmates.

“We were optimistic that she had a survivability of 36 hours,” Petty Officer Larry Chambers of the U.S. Coast Guard says in a news report. “But at this point the search cannot go on indefinitely.”

Jason Fell