'It's such a shock': Calvert fisherman Laurie Sullivan remembered fondly

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'It's such a shock': Calvert fisherman Laurie Sullivan remembered fondly

'It's such a shock': Calvert fisherman Laurie Sullivan remembered fondly

People in Calvert, on the southern shore of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, are mourning the loss of fisherman Laurie Sullivan, 59, who died Wednesday after he was pulled from the water near the town's wharf. 

"It's such a shock to everybody and his passing has had an impact on everybody," said Denise Sullivan, a long-time friend and neighbour.

Residents of the community say Sullivan was working alone on his boat, the Princess Shaneen, and somehow he ended up in the ocean near it.

Like other fishermen in Calvert, he was getting ready to go crab fishing. It was icy at the time, and it's believed no one saw or heard him fall from the deck.

Found in the water

Sullivan was found by nearby fishermen who took him out of the water and called first responders who took him to St. Clare's Hospital in St. John's where he died.

Sullivan is remembered by many as the owner of the Sea Gypsy, a fishing boat that sank in 2009 taking the lives of two fishermen.

People who knew Sullivan said the loss of those men, who he knew well, was a heavy blow.

"Oh my goodness, Laurie was a big part of this community and he was a family man and a Jack of all trades. Whenever you needed something done, he would do it," said Denise Sullivan. 

An autopsy is being done to try to determine the exact cause of death.

Sullivan leaves behind a large extended family, including his wife of 40 years, Diane (Kane) and three sons, including Jason Sullivan, a prominent and outspoken member of FISH-NL, a group that's challenging the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) in a bid to represent inshore fishermen,

According to an obituary, a funeral for Sullivan will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Calvert on Monday, April 10 at 11:00 a.m.