Sadly, we lost dad over this past weekend on April 2nd, 2021 at the young age of 67 to a long battle with
dementia that unfortunately affected him for the last few years of his life. Although very heart breaking, it
was a very peaceful and welcome end to such an awful disease.
As a North Vancouver resident for over 40 years , Dad was entrenched in the marine community (primarily in
the local waters of Indian Arm, Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound) for his entire career on so many
Dad was a long time and founding member of the North Shore Lifeboat Society (now referred to as the
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue) initially/primarily out of the Deep Cove station (and then on to the
Lynwood Marina station when it was relocated) in North Vancouver, as well as the Fisherman’s Cove station in
West Vancouver for many many years (from 1987-2004). The coast guard auxiliary was a huge part of his life and
throughout all of those years (almost 2 decades) I can only imagine the many relationships that he formed with
like minded, courageous and selfless individuals like him in addition to the many that were rescued/saved. In
his heyday, dad and his colleagues facilitated numerous marine-specific rescues and worked closely with the
likes of Tim Jones (also deceased) and the North Shore Search & Rescue team to facilitate rescues of all
sorts that crossed over between land and sea. Dad was very much a silent hero; serving as a volunteer to the
community without ever looking for thanks or praise; he just wanted to help and enjoyed every minute of it.
For the better part of my childhood and early adolescence, I recall dad frantically leaving our family
home, regardless of day or time (more often than not, in the middle of the night) to help those in need. His
service pager would sound repeatedly; most times he had to forego family events/birthdays/kids sports and family
meals in order to help those in need. This was truly a sacrifice; a sacrifice that I now fully understand and
For many years, dad provided a water taxi service in conjunction with operating as a Seatow affiliate in
the waters of Indian Arm, which helped so many in this unique ‘boat access only’ community. On some occasions,
he would provide these services for free ( I vividly recall an elderly widow/pensioner who lived isolated in a
cabin up Indian Arm. Dad explained to me that she had no family left and had very limited funds. Dad would
deliver groceries, check in on her, and pick her up / drop her off for medical appointments; for free; from the
goodness of his heart. This was a true testament to dad's will and dedication to those in his community
that were in need.)
For the better part of his career, concurrent with the above, dad was the owner/operator of ‘West Coast
Powerboat Handling’. As a Transport Canada accredited marine instructor, he trained countless thousands of
mariners in industry through commercial certifications that included SVOP (Small Vessel Operator Proficiency),
MEDA3 (Marine Emergency Duties) and RROC-M (Restricted Radio Operator Certificate-Maritime) tickets up and down
the coast, throughout the province and across Canada. He fought hard to advocate for mariners in industry and
helped steer decisions at higher levels within Transport Canada in Ottawa to make our waters a safer place in
which to work. From operators in the logging industry, to First Nations groups, sport fishing guides,
aquaculture outfits, mining exploration, municipal, provincial and federal organizations and everything in
between, dad fostered his knowledge into so many.
He will be fondly remembered always by his adoring family and the countless number of others whose lives
he’s touched over the years.
“Wishing you a safe last voyage to the big sea in the sky. Until next time Captain Jimmy. Not goodbye,
just sea you later. Fair winds.”
Written by Jason Watt, his son.
I certified Jimmy as a Sail Canada Powerboat Instructor and then he hired me to teach with him. We
worked together for nearly 20 years. He was a quiet man, extemely knowlegable in the marine industry,
an expert in boat handling and an excellent teacher.
He will be