By Dorie Cox
Eng. Matthew Carscadden, 27, died June 6 in West Palm Beach, Fla., after being removed from life-support machines. He was found unresponsive five days earlier and transported to a local hospital under cardiac arrest with oxygen deprivation to his brain.
Mr. Carscadden was from the United Kingdom and most recently worked as an engineer on M/Y Silver Cloud, a 134-foot (41m) Abeking & Rasmussen.
His father, Gary Carscadden, who served in the British navy, said his son came into yachting naturally, having grown up among ships, the sea and engineering. He attended Chichester College and Southampton Maritime Technology Centre, both in Hampshire, England. He also served an apprenticeship as a marine engineering technician with British Aerospace Systems, where he worked on vessels ranging from minesweepers to aircraft carriers. After a family vacation in Florida as a teenager, he felt that the wider world had more to offer him and decided to pursue a career in yachting, his father wrote in an email.
Mr. Carscadden earned his STCW95 in England and flew to Fort Lauderdale in late 2011 to stay with his father’s friend, Mark Geddes, a former yacht engineer and now marine surveyor with Patton Marine Surveyors, whose wife Stacey owns Crew4Crew.
“What I remember most is his little cheesy grin and laugh,” Mark Geddes said. “I was his godfather and knew him since he was born. Everybody liked him.”
After several years on M/Y Silver Cloud, Mr. Carscadden left to experience work on other yachts. He was employed as a deckhand on M/Y Passion, a 173-foot (53m) Swedeship; a temporary 2nd engineer on M/Y You & Me, a 154-foot (47m) Heesen; a deckhand on M/Y Koi, a 115-foot (35m) McMullen & Wing; and on M/Y Kisses, a 174-foot (53m) Feadship. He also did daywork on M/Y Kimberly II, a 141-foot (43m) Mondo Marine.
“But a chance meeting with the Silver Cloud in the Caribbean led to him rejoining,” his father said. “He always felt that he belonged on her more than any other yacht.”
Chef Stuart Kennedy shared a cabin with him on M/Y Silver Cloud last year.
“He was one of my favorites,” Kennedy said. “Matt was one of the most pleasant, nice and good-hearted people that you meet. He was positive, respectful and a team player.
“He loved his food, particularly chicken-wings Buffalo-style,” Kennedy added. “But he was notorious for snoring like a bear.”
Bosun Bongani Mabena of M/Y BG, a 154-foot (47m) Feadship, met Mr. Carscadden years ago in a crew house.
“He showed me the ropes,” Mabena said. “If wasn’t for his help, I would have left the industry a long time ago. He was always there if someone was down — he would bring cheer to their face and motivate them, tell them there are jobs out there.”
Peg Garvia-Soffen of Yacht Crew Connection met Mr. Carscadden about four years ago.
“He fit into the industry; he was definitely a people person and always ready to lend a hand,” Garvia-Soffen said. “He was such a good worker and always had a kind word to say.”
Mr. Carscadden had recently visited his family in London. “He was so full of joy about his achievements and the yacht’s upcoming planned trip to Greenland, and maybe even a chance to transit the Northwest Passage on Silver Cloud,” his father said. “It felt like he had made it to his destiny after leaving England six years earlier.
“He lived for a life at sea, he loved his job and was a proud crew member for a yacht and owner whom he thought were the best in the business,” his father said. “It was clear to me that Matt was going to be a career yachtie.”
In addition to his father, he is survived by his mother, Sam, and a sister, Maisie. A funeral is scheduled for July 6 in Hampshire, England.
Click to visit the Matthew Carscadden memorial Facebook page.
Click to visit an online memorial page.