The Triton


Capt. Pat O’Brien dies in motorcycle accident


Capt. Pat O’Brien died from injuries sustained in a three-vehicle accident on I-95 in central Florida on July 17. A Chevy SUV pulling a boat blew a tire and careened into a semitruck, according to news reports. Capt. O’Brien’s motorcycle slid on its side and he was ejected. He was 64.

Capt. O’Brien began his career as an electrician on ships then worked as an engineer on racing sailboats, according to a 2006 interview with him on the website CharterWave.

In his career, Capt. O’Brien worked rotation on the 230-foot M/Y Skat and as captain on the 95-foot M/Y Perfect Timing, the 102-foot S/Y Gleam, the 130-foot M/Y Bonheur II, the 142-foot M/Y Namoh, and the 170-foot M/Y Dream.

Capt. O’Brien was married 25 years to Robin Woods O’Brien, a charter broker with Fraser Yachts in Ft. Lauderdale.

Friends expressed condolences on The Triton’s website and Facebook page, sharing memories of his work and his hobbies, which included building and flying his own aerobatic airplane.

“I want just to think that he is flying with his red small airplane in paradise,” Giovanna Zuin, operations manager at Trieste Yacht Service in Italy, wrote. “He was a great captain, but first of all, a great person. It was a real pleasure to work with him.”

Former Stew Rachel Rodrigues got to know Capt. O’Brien during his relief jobs on M/Y Victoria Del Mar.

“I will always remember his kindness, gentle nature and great sense of humor,” she wrote online. “Am so deeply saddened. My heartfelt sympathies go out to his family, friends and his soulmate, Robin. I’m so sorry for your loss. We shared many a bridge watch together, swapping stories about our global wanderings and love for animals,” she wrote. “He had such a beautiful outlook on life.”

Vivien Godfrey, CEO of Bluewater Books and Charts, said Capt. O’Brien was a longtime customer.

“We knew him as a very professional and detail-oriented captain,” Godfrey said. “He asked if he could spend a few days at Bluewater learning how to do chart correcting since he knew how important it was to have his UKHO charts correct and up-to-date. He was always a pleasure to work with, and we will miss his friendly face.”

Friend and colleague Patti Trusel, charter broker with Pier One Yacht Sales, said he loved motorcycles.

“He loved a lot of things – he loved his wife, he loved his animals – but he loved riding his motorcycle,” she said. “He would have rather had 64 years of doing what he loved to do than 90 years of being afraid.

“But he wasn’t reckless,” she noted. “He was careful and methodical. And in 26 years, I never saw a ruffled feather on that man, over anything. He was such an even-keeled kind of guy.”

In lieu of flowers, his family asks for donations to help his favorite causes, including Rails to Trails, U.S. National Parks and various animal rescues. Click to visit the GoFundMe page.

A gathering of Capt. O’Brien’s friend are meeting at Tap 42 in Ft. Lauderdale on Fri., July 22 at 7 p.m.

Capt. Pat O'Brien dies in motorcycle accident. PHOTO from CHARTERWAVE

Capt. Pat O’Brien dies in motorcycle accident. PHOTO from CHARTERWAVE

The Triton will share more details of Capt. O’Brien’s life as they become available. To share a memory, please contact Associate Editor Dorie Cox at

To read details of the accident click here.

About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →

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19 thoughts on “Capt. Pat O’Brien dies in motorcycle accident

  1. Anthony Beveridge

    How very sad,
    Pat was a lovely man, a true gentleman. The kindest most respectful soul with a sparkle in his eye. His love of dogs and his joy of the life of a mariner made him a pleasure to be around.
    My deepest and most heartfelt sympathy go to his beautiful wife and soulmate Robin and all those who could call him a friend.
    Anthony Beveridge

  2. Dale Smith

    I heard a rumour about this yesterday and prayed it wasn’t true. Sadly, the news is confirmed today. Pat was such a nice guy and he will be sadly missed by many. My deepest and heartfelt sympathies go out to Robin……
    Dale Smith..

  3. Normand Bouchard

    So sorry to hear about it !!! Very sad , I worked with Pat for 2 years .Pat was a great guy ! My deepest sympathy Robin …. We will miss you !!
    Normand Bouchard

  4. Jan Henry

    One of the best guys in the industry. A real professional and a gentleman. Hard to believe he is gone and the Fraser family is circling the wagon’s for his wife Robin who is equally as lovely, professional and well loved. Please keep her in your prayers.

  5. Ms Vivien P. Godfrey

    John and I and all of the Bluewater crew were very saddened to hear about the death of Pat.
    He had been a very long standing customer of Bluewater Books & Charts and we knew him as a very professional and detail oriented Captain.
    He asked if he could spend a few days at Bluewater learning how to do chart correcting since he knew how important it was to have his UKHO charts correct and up to date. He came and spent 2 or 3 days with us learning from our chart correctors.
    He was always a pleasure to work with and we will miss his friendly face and cheery smile.
    Ms Vivien P. Godfrey
    CEO Bluewater Books and Charts

  6. Ken and Gail Jordan

    Ken and Gail Jordan

    Patrick and Robin were very much a part of the Hidden Valley Trl. community. We often had gatherings once a week on Fridays where we brought food. Patrick and Robin (when they took time out from their jobs) would join us in the Valley. We came to love them. Patrick was such a smiling, caring and a very admired man around the Valley. We will miss him greatly.

  7. Robert Wiltz

    How very sad. My condolences and prayers to the family and friends. Mr. O’Brien seemed to be a wonderful man in my brief encounter with him.

  8. Giovanna Zuin

    I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to his family.
    I want just to think that he is flying with his red small airplane in the paradise.
    He was a great Captain but first of all a great person, it was a real pleasure to work with him.
    Giovanna Zuin
    Operations Manager – Trieste Yacht Service

  9. Scott Sanders

    Pat was a great guy, a true gentleman with an easy going attitude. Both Pat and Robin were great to have as friends. You impacted many lives many I am sure you were unaware of. You will be missed Pat. RIP

    Robin, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Scott Sanders

  10. Dianne & Harold Leddy

    To Robin and O’Brien Family

    Our thoughts and Prayers are with you . We fell so bad, Pat was a true gentleman and
    Will be missed.

    Love Dianee & Harold Your Canadian friends

  11. Ian MacAdam

    Robin and the O’Brien Family… Ian, Sue, Tanner, Horns and the rest of the crew of MacDonald Marine in Goderich want to extend our sympathies to you and yours.

    We always looked forward to Pat dropping in at the harbour whenever he was in town. He always had a few sea stories to share and was always entertaining.

    He will be missed but not forgotten….. his perpetual smile will stay in our memories forever

  12. Rachel Rodrigues

    What devastating news… It was an honour getting to know him during his relief gigs each season on M/Y Victoria Del Mar. Will always remember his kindness, gentle nature and great sense of humour. Am so deeply saddened. My heartfelt sympathies go out to his family, friends and his soulmate Robin. I’m so sorry for your loss…

  13. David MacAdam and Family

    To one of the finest skippers I have had the pleasure of sailing with! Capt… you will be missed by so many. Pat was one of the kindest, pleasant men I have known. All of his family share those same qualities. Just simply kind and wonderful people. I had the pleasure of sailing with Pat when I was in my twenties. One of the greatest adventures of my life. Thank you Pat for sharing that time and experience with us. Pat was always a welcome addition to the “dock rats” when he would visit Goderich and visit with the MacDonald Marine Tug crews.

  14. John and connie Harrison

    Dear Robin and family
    We are so sad to hear of Pat’s accident. You are a lucky person to of called him your husband. He was a good person and will for ever be missed by many.

  15. Andrew Johnstone and Denise Rogers

    To friends at sea!
    Patrick, you will be missed but not forgotten. Our travels with you and Robin through the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean and back to the Caribbean will live on as a shining example of camaraderie and friendship.
    Robin, we are deeply saddened by your loss. Our hearts go out to you.

  16. Olav Hinke

    I cannot begin to express how saddened I was to hear this news. I have great memories of Pat and his love for yachting, bikes, and airplanes. He will be truly missed by all and my sympathy goes out to his family and all friends he left behind.

  17. Stephen A Crosthwaite

    Pat and I met in Greece in the 70s when he was working on the Rhodes Ketch SORRENTO based in Glyfada. He was riding a BMW with a sidecar then and we spent many a night trundling around Zea, Athens and Glyfada town sampling the delights and beverages on offer, and the next morning being appalled at what we had done, or mores to the point, not done… NOT!!
    We kept in touch for many years and when I finally met Pat again, I was pleased to hear he had met his soulmate in Robin, and 20 years later was delighted to see that were still together. Pat and I had a shared passion for animals and we also swapped many stories over a beverage (of course!) about our dogs, sailing days, motorcycles, our ladies and of course flying.
    Pat was very talented flyer and he had built his own plane, and after flying with him for the first time, I realised he was as happy in the air as he was on the water. Robin and he planned and made many trips around Canada and the USA. He so enjoyed the challenge of it all. He was of course also a very professional Captain and a very talented Engineer. His crews all loved his caring and nurturing nature and he will be remembered as having made a difference in yachting, in they way he promoted the business, how he cared for his crew, and how he ran charters.
    I can’t tell you how I will miss the guy! I will be home in October and will take the Harley for one last ride out and will stop at a place I know and have one last beverage and with it, a toast to Pat of “Aspro Pato” and will remember the times and the fun we had.
    To Robin, the families and friends I wish you all my condolences and I am will mourn the loss of a true friend and colleague.
    Clear Skies, Flat Seas and Dry Days, my friend.
    Capt. Stephen Crosthwaite

  18. Els Bucknell

    Dear Robin and family,
    We are shocked to read this sad news and are so very sorry for your loss. Our deepest condolences.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Bob and Els Bucknell

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