HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – The daughter of hockey Hall of Famer Bob Gainey was swept off a Nova Scotia ship during an Atlantic storm, and the U.S. Coast Guard is searching for her.
Laura Gainey, a 25-year-old crew member, was washed off a deck at the back of the vessel by a large wave Friday night. Her disappearance was confirmed Sunday by the Montreal Canadiens. Bob Gainey is the team's general manager.
A Coast Guard vessel searched through the night, and aircraft resumed searching at first light Sunday, Coast Guard spokeswoman Faith Wisinski said. The search is of an area about 475 miles east-southeast of Cape Cod, Mass.
As of noon, Gainey had been in the water 33 hours without a lifejacket. Wisinski said the water is warm, but it's expected hypothermia would ordinarily take a person's life after 36 hours.
Dan Moreland, the senior captain of the Picton Castle, said Laura Gainey is a volunteer on the tall ship. He called her a "well-loved crew member," who is very fit and a strong swimmer.
Gainey learned the missing woman was his daughter on Saturday. Gauthier attended the Canadiens' 3-2 shootout loss to Buffalo on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Players and coaches had a day off Sunday and were not available for comment.
The team said "the thoughts and prayers of the entire Montreal Canadiens organization are with Mr. Gainey and his family." Bob Gainey is awaiting news on the search with his three other children, Hanna, Colleen and Steve.
The club said Piere Gauthier, assistant general manager, will handle Gainey's responsibilities. Gainey also holds the title of executive vice president.
Moreland described the situation as "completely devastating for everybody" on the vessel, which undertakes voyages around the world. He said hundreds of former crew members of the ship have been contacting the Lunenburg headquarters to express concern.
"It could happen to any ship, to any captain," he said from headquarters. "And, from my point of view, it's the captain's greatest fear."
Gainey first joined the ship as a trainee in Cape Town, South Africa, in the last three months of the ship's world voyage.
"She is hardworking, someone who wanted to turn her life around. She was passionate about sailing, loves it and worked very hard," he said. "She was no slouch."
Bob Gainey, who turns 53 on Wednesday, won five Stanley Cups with Montreal during a 16-year career from 1973-89. He also won a championship as general manager of the Dallas Stars in 1999. His wife, Cathy, died of brain cancer in 1995 at 39.