'Family man' fatally struck by car in United States

Thursday 17th October 2019 10:00 am

Mike Craine

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Tributes have been paid to an Onchan man who was fatally struck by a car in the United States.

Michael (Mike) Craine died six days after his 68th birthday while on holiday with his wife Lynn in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Both he and his wife were crossing the road when he was hit on Tuesday last week (October 8).

Mrs Craine told the Examiner shortly after arriving home from America: ’He was caring and loving. We’ve had an extremely happy marriage.

’Since he’s been retired we’ve been travelling together and have been all around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland.’

Described as a ’family man’, he also dedicated his life to helping hundreds of fishermen around the island.

Inspired from a young age, he would watch boats from his bedroom window at the Imperial Restaurant on Peel Promenade using his father’s binoculars and would log their names, registrations and take photos of them.

He joined the Merchant Navy as a radio officer on several boats including Othello, which was a supply vessel during the Icelandic Cod War.

He kept boats safe by listening and reporting shipping information and weather forecasts.

After retiring, Mr Craine worked part-time in the chandlers in Peel for the Fish Producers’ Organisation.

’A job he truly loved as it place him in the heart of the fishing industry and in daily contact with the fishing community,’ Mrs Craine said.

He was a co-founder of the 40+ Fishing Boat Association, which promotes the fishing industry and aims to preserve its heritage and worked for the charity Fisherman’s Mission Isle of Man since 1998.

The Mission gives support and financial aid to fishermen and their families in the island who are struggling.

His work for the charity started when he saw a trawler called Amber Rose sinking off the coast of Port St Mary.

He alerted the emergency services and guided coastguards from the shore to where the trawler was.

It was through this that he met Erik White from the Mission, who trained Mr Craine into an honorary agent.

’It was a position he was proud of,’ Mrs Craine said.

’He’s helped hundreds of fishermen, retired fishermen and their families over the years and he often said that he’s there after the lifeboat crew have done their work, but his work is done quietly without publicity.’

He also campaigned for sea safety getting personal flotation devices to every Manx fisherman.

These efforts led to him winning the prestigious Isle of Man Newspapers’ Award forExcellence for charity, cultural and social Enterprises in 2014.

Over the years he had written articles for and supplied photos to Commercial Fishing Magazine, Fishing News and until his death he was a monthly contributor to magazine The Skipper - based in Ireland - where he reported on fishing activity around the island.

The publication wrote it was ’saddened’ to hear the news ’of the tragic death of our friend and Isle of Man correspondent Mike Craine’.

’Mike’s Isle of Man news was a monthly feature in The Skipper and he lovingly documented and championed the fishing industry on the island for many years,’ it wrote.

’All of us here at The Skipper would like to offer our condolences and deepest sympathies to his wife, family and many friends.’

His daughter Sarah Smythe said: ’He was a true gent and dropped everything for his children, grandchildren and for mum. If he wasn’t with his family, he’d be out taking photos or with the fishermen.

’He didn’t say a lot, but what he did say meant a lot.’

Funeral arrangements for Mr Craine are ongoing. He will be dearly missed by his family, including Lynn, Sarah, son Robert, grandchildren Adam and Kaelan, brothers Andrew, Stephen, David, sister Anne and others.

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