Deckhand Brandon Fisher, known as Six Seven to the crew on M/Y Lady Sara, died Sept. 26 in Monaco. He was being treated for tonsillitis, but the cause of his death has been undetermined pending an autopsy. He was 21.
Mr. Fisher’s mother, Patty Fisher of Olympia, Washington, said he had been sick with a cold and was under a doctor’s care. Before his death he texted her that he felt bad, but was better, she said, and that he wanted to get back to work with his crew during the Monaco Yacht Show. He was part of the crew that would be named Best Charter Crew on yachts over 50m at Fraser’s annual awards dinner two days later.
“His bunkmate said Brandon tried to get up, but he was told to rest,” Ms. Fisher said by phone from Monaco, where she was handling her son’s affairs.
“Forty-five minutes later his bunkmate heard odd noises of Brandon trying to breathe,” she said. “The crew did CPR, put the paddles on and got a medic. He had no allergies we know of.”
Joel Antoinette was a rotational chief engineer on Lady Sara, a 187-foot Trinity, when he first met Mr. Fisher. He said people frequently asked the deckhand how tall he was.
“Almost before they finished their question, Brandon would respond ‘6-foot-7,’ with a big smile like the big, gentle giant he was,” Antoinette wrote in an email. “Like he could never be asked enough times and never got tired of answering.”
That’s how he got the nickname, Six Seven, Antoinette said.
“It just caught on all around the boat, like his name had always been Six Seven,” Antoinette said. “It sounded good on the radios, too. ‘6-7, 6-7, what’s your 20? Over.’”
Mr. Fisher had worked on the yacht since March of 2016. The crew, led by Capt. Scott Barsin, dedicated the Fraser award to him, and many of the crew held photographs of him for the ceremony photo shoot. They also dressed the yacht with signal flags that read, “In Memory of Brandon Fisher 9/26/2017”.
Stew Shannon Jones created, “In the Spirit of Brandon Fisher” as a memorial to Mr. Fisher on Facebook. She wrote that yacht crew “become family, through the good and the bad, you tease and fight like siblings. Sadly, on September 26th, we lost our brother.”
She said that he was the nicest guy she ever met and had the pleasure to work with.
“I always told him he was the little brother I never had, and he really was,” Jones wrote. “He knew just how to push my buttons and annoy me, yet I couldn’t last more than five minutes without laughing. He really is a model example of how to live your life. He was nice to everyone he met, never questioned authority, and lived in a constant awe – just wanting to know and do more.”
Mr. Fisher was drawn to the water and loved to fish since he was 3 years old, his mother said. During high school in Washington, he volunteered at hatcheries with the goal of being a charter fishing guide and he had a summer job as a deckhand on a charter fishing boat in Alaska. He had earned a captain’s licence and his STCW when he decided to head to Fort Lauderdale, where he found daywork on M/Y Pure Insanity and M/Y Checkmate.
“He wanted to get to warm water,” his mother said. “He got on a plane, went to a crew house and had work. I didn’t even know he knew how to make plane reservations. He really spread his wings.”
Click for a fundraising page posted by his family.
Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.