Opposition staff social goes awry

Teresa Wright
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An Opposition staff party ended with a jolt recently for two members of the Tory caucus. Guardian file photo.

A summer social for provincial Opposition staffers aboard a boat last week came to an abrupt, and literal, halt after the boat hit a sand bar.

Two people, including the driver of the boat, were thrown overboard, according to three independent sources, including one individual who was on the boat when it ran aground Thursday in the Brudenell River.

No one was injured or had to seek medical attention, but Opposition Leader Steven Myers did sustain a minor blow to the head as a result of the impact.

The boating event was part of a summer social for staff of the Opposition office. It was also meant as a sendoff for three students employed in the office for the summer.

Myers and Souris-Elmira MLA Colin LaVie were the only MLAs aboard the boat. LaVie was not hurt.

But two sources told The Guardian the driver of the vessel – a fishing boat that had been hired for the day – was thrown a sizeable distance from the boat into the water.

The other individual thrown overboard was Sheryl MacAulay, communications advisor for the Opposition Tories. Both MacAulay and the boat’s skipper were recovered from the water unharmed.

Despite the incident, neither the passengers nor the boat's captain signalled or called for help to harbour or marine authorities. Instead, they waved down another passing boat and asked to be towed out of the sand bar.

The Guardian has also learned alcohol was being consumed aboard the boat.

An individual who was on the boat when the incident occurred stressed it was a minor episode and one that happens frequently in P.E.I. waters, where sand bars often move and shift with the tides.

This individual also said only 24 beer were brought onto the boat and approximately 16 were consumed among the eight people aboard.

Calls and messages sent Monday to both Myers and LaVie for comment on this story received no response.




Organizations: The Guardian

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Jamie
    August 27, 2013 - 10:10

    Is Myers was on board and there were students on board and there was alcohol, shouldn't he be under fire. Glad to hear the most useless of the staff were thrown overboard. I think the RCMP should investigate. This is an accident and Myers failed to report it.

    • huh
      August 27, 2013 - 20:02

      Myers failed to report it? You sure you don't mean the owner of the boat? Why so certain the students were underaged? Why would the RCMP investigate a boat hitting a sandbar?

    August 27, 2013 - 09:21

    Yeah...those shifting sand bars in Brudenell River are dangerous! LOL ! What a joke. I hope the Liberals give these Tories some grief about this after all the noise they made about under age Liberals drinking .

  • important news
    August 27, 2013 - 09:01

    I'm not sure that this is really a newsworthy enough item to be reported in such detail! Amusing - and lucky that nobody was hurt, that's all. Why does the fact that alcohol was being consumed on board warrant a paragraph of its own? It's just a non-news item. Last time I was on the ferry it hit a sandbar coming into Wood Islands and a few drinks got spilled, but I didn't see that reported here!!

  • Curious To Know
    August 27, 2013 - 08:49

    Wonder if the summer students were legal drinking age?

  • Intrigued..
    August 27, 2013 - 08:43

    My question is...how did this make the front page of the Guardian? Was there a reporter on board? They did not seek assistance except for a tow...I've fallen off a fishing boat before and did not see any reporter there looking for a story. Do the Liberals have someone following every move the opposition makes? Goodness sake Islanders, do we not have more important issues to spend time on?

    • Right on, but certainly not left on . . .
      August 27, 2013 - 09:21

      INTRIGUED . . . this is what's called rigorous investigative journalism on PEI. Repeat what's been said and if it's trivial and doesn't require validation, print it as quickly as possible. That said, I'm glad nobody got hurt and I sure would have enjoyed seeing it - although I think the wrong people got tossed out of the boat.

  • Joke
    August 27, 2013 - 08:28

    1. Call the coast guard? Are you kidding Mrs Wright? Boats get hung up on sandbars very often-call the coast guard-its obvious you know nothing about boating on PEI 2. "16 of 24 beer were consumed" So what-the Skipper of this boat doesnt drink so alcohol is a non factor whether 16 or 160 were consumed. 3. Why can PEI not report newsworthy storys about things that affect Islanders. 4. Thank Goodness nobody was hurt-and Mrs Wright go find something a little more newsworthy

  • don
    August 27, 2013 - 08:13

    VANCE FORD. you must best friend of ronnie's as i'm sure he will be making his normal childish remarks in the house and ghiz will allow it as he always does. but at least they were NOT serving kids under legal age like the liberals have done in the resent past or have you forgotten that vance?

    • huh
      August 27, 2013 - 19:53

      are you for real? Based on your previous posts, "Don", if the parties were reversed and it were Liberals in the boat you'd be all over with all sorts of comments. Its laughable how some people can be so hypocritical and biased.

  • Bias
    August 27, 2013 - 07:13

    Did they have any food on board? Did any of the food spill? What kind of beer was it? Was there any music? Was it ROCK AND ROLL? Why not ask the hard questions and stop letting these tories off the hook! You are so biased towards the Conservatives it is not funny. If this was about the liberals we would probably know exactly how much grass was smoked, what kind of papers were used and how many bags of doritos were consumed. Its sick.

  • Vance Ford
    August 27, 2013 - 07:07

    Did It Knock Any Sense Into Any Of Them!!!!

  • I expect
    August 27, 2013 - 06:26

    I expect there have been many beers consumed on boats around the island this summer. The story here is the boat hit a sand bar. Beer only becomes the issue if it was the cause of the accident.

  • Headline - Life imitates politics?
    August 27, 2013 - 06:18

    "The driver of the vessel was thrown a sizable distance from the boat into the water." And then to top if off, Myers gets a "blow to the head". I mean really, could it be more symbolic? You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried!