The Triton

News

Friends remember Capt. Joshua Wattula of M/Y ForaPlay

ADVERTISEMENT

By Dorie Cox

Capt. Joshua Wattula had recently accomplished one of his goals: to be master of a yacht. He had recently been hired as captain on M/Y ForaPlay, a Pershing.

But friends said he did not show up to work on the yacht on June 24. He was found dead in the house where the crew stayed in the Hamptons area of New York. The cause of death has not been determined; his family awaits toxicology reports. He was 29.

“He was just at the top of his game, he was killing it – his first time in international waters in the Bahamas and first trip to New England [as captain],” said friend Capt. Jared Woodin of the 70-foot M/Y Wicked. “This is so abrupt.”

Capt. Woodin hopes to help organize a memorial in South Florida for his friend, whom he said was “the closest thing to a brother to me.”

Capt. Joshua Wattula
Sept. 3, 1989 – June 24, 2019

Capt. Wattula gained experience toward his captain’s license with work on motor yachts including Murphy’s Law, a 125-foot Delta; Atlantica, a 135-foot Christensen; Take 5, a 115-foot Sunseeker; Sovereign, a 125-foot Broward; and Lady Sheridan, a 190-foot Abeking & Rasmussen.

Mate/Engr. Rory Callahan was on the dock at Chelsea Piers in New York City and caught the lines when Capt. Wattula recently pulled in on M/Y ForaPlay for the season in Sag Harbor. Callahan, who works on M/Y Sima, a 98-foot Santa Margarita, met Capt. Wattula about eight years ago and had watched him move up in his career from dayworking.

“He loved what he did and saw this as a lifetime career,” Callahan said.

The loss will be big for the rest of the crew who met in a crew house eight years ago, Callahan said. They keep in touch, visit each other and meet up around the world. Callahan had visited Capt. Wattula in his hometown of Seattle, and the two planned a reciprocal trip to Callahan’s home.

Friend Capt. Peter Hunziker recalls their recent trip up the Eastern seaboard.

Aside from personal relationships, the yacht industry has lost a mentor who was “encouraging, generous and genuine,” Callahan said. “He was very amicable, outgoing, and never put people down at work. Instead, he would show how he would do it.”

Capt. Wattula loved to work on deck, but had no problem going down to help in engine rooms or to help stews, Callahan said. “He was an all-around helper and did not begrudge working.”

Callahan added that he would miss his friend’s sincere personality and the way people smiled when he walked into a room. “Josh was an old friend I could always count on,” he said.

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below. If you would like to add stories and photos to this article, please contact dorie@the-triton.com.

Related Posts

  • Capt. Wattula's final trip will live on
  • Master convicted for delayed report of engine failure
  • Crew Compass: In yachting, calling it quits means more than just giving up a job
  • Share This Post

    About Dorie Cox

    Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

    View all posts by Dorie Cox →

    5 thoughts on “Friends remember Capt. Joshua Wattula of M/Y ForaPlay

    1. Meleah

      Josh was so well loved by everyone he met. When my best friend Alex Buckingham died tragically last year, he reached out, and we’d been in better touch ever since. Even seeing him a few weeks back and looking forward to the summer season in the Hamptons. Absolutely tragic and will be missed dearly.

    2. Kara Wattula

      Joshua’s cause of death has not yet been determined, thus the reason why we haven’t disclosed. We have to wait for toxicology reports to come back. This could take 2-4 months. Josh’s mom

    3. Lucy Duck

      I met Josh several years ago and he was such a lovely, genuine, Kind hearted person. It was fantastic to see him achieve his dream of becoming a captain. I just can’t believe he has gone

    4. Becca

      I met Josh years ago while he was a deckhand. He was one of the most empathetic, fun, and kind people I’ve ever come across. I only recently looked him up because I’m finally back on the east coast, and I find his obituary. I am absolutely heartbroken for his loved ones and his family who I know he loved so much. I’m extending all condolences to Josh’s family, friends, and yachting community. He was such a light that will be missed.

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Editor’s Picks

    Captain builds tender for users’ comfort

    Captain builds tender for users’ comfort

    Story and photos by Tom Serio He’s a big guy, with a big voice, and with big miles under his keel. Now he has big goals. Capt. …

    Owner’s View: Effort in captain-owner interview pays off

    Owner’s View: Effort in captain-owner interview pays off

    Owner’s View: by Melvyn Miller As is the case with owners of yachts, I have found it difficult to describe an average captain of a …

    Ocean plastic removal program gets grant

    Ocean plastic removal program gets grant

    Photos by Lockhart Maclean Fort Lauderdale-based Mission Resolve Foundation has gifted Ocean Voyages Institute $25,000 as a challenge …

    MarineMax acquires NJ

    MarineMax acquires NJ

    Clearwater, Florida-based MarineMax has acquired Fort Lauderdale-based brokerage firm Northrop & Johnson, a 71-year-old company that …