The widow of a Cartwright man who lost his life while working as a guide on the Eagle River is glad to see the company he worked for is now facing charges under the Occupational Health and Safety act.
“If there is some wrongdoing there someone should be held responsible for it,” Phoebe Davis told SaltWire. “I just want other people going up there to be safe. It’s too late for Ray, but it’s not too late for someone else.”
The company he worked for, Cloud 9 Salmon Lodge Inc, is facing six charges around worker and public safety. Norman Lethbridge, a supervisor with the company, is also being charged in relation to the incident and is facing one count of failure of a supervisor to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers. Her husband, Raymond Green, was in a boat that capsized on the Eagle River on July 12, 2018 and he was never found. She said he was taking two tourists from the United States out on a trip when the boat tipped over. Another boat rescued the other two men.
Davis said her husband, 67, had been planning on retiring in a few months and had told her only a few days before the accident that he wasn’t comfortable going into the part of the river where the boat capsized.
The other two men in the boat came to her home a couple of days later, she said, and told her that her husband was taking care of them before looking after himself.
“His last words to the guys were ‘stay with the boat’ and then he was gone,” she said. “If this company is responsible for his life, and I believe they are, then they have no idea what they took from us.”
The couple had been together for 31 years and between them had nine children, some who were his, some who were hers, and some who just showed up, Davis said.
They had planned on doing some travelling after he retired and were going to go meet a new grandchild for the first time. Instead, she spent the months they had planned to travel getting his affairs in order and adjusting to life without her husband. It’s a wound that never heals, Davis said, but she hopes that his death can help make the industry safer for everyone.
The company and Lethbridge are scheduled to appear in Happy Valley-Goose Bay provincial court on July 15.
Saltwire reached out to Lethbridge and Cloud 9 for comment but did not receive a reply as of press time.
Evan Careen is a local journalism initiative reporter covering Labrador for SaltWire Network.