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Vomiting, vertigo and fear of capsizing: lawsuits detail rough seas for Senators owner vacation

OTTAWA —
A dream vacation on a yacht allegedly gone awry in the Bahamas is at the centre of lawsuits filed by the mother and girlfriend of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. 

During the trip to escape isolation in Canada over Christmas, they say they encountered “…a crew headed by an angry, arrogant, dismissive, grossly negligent captain discernably inexperienced in the waters he was navigating.” 

Melnyk is referred to as the charterer in the lawsuits against the captain and the companies that own and operate the yacht. None of the allegations have been tested or proven in court. 

Court documents reveal they set sail as an escape from isolation in Canada over Christmas and allege negligence, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

One of the claims laid out is that they requested to take a different route from Nassau known to have calmer seas than the open ocean, but the captain refused.

“He appeared angry and resentful that a charterer would deem to intrude on his alleged specialized knowledge, experience, and authority as captain,” the lawsuit alleges. 

What ensued, the suits claim, is that they were, “subjected to hours upon hours of waves pummeling the yacht.”

The lawsuits claim passengers experienced “…intense vomiting, vertigo, sleepless nights, severe anxiety and fear over potential capsizing or sinking of the vessel, and dodging shards of glass as deck chairs, not properly secured as required by the crew, careened into glass railings and rained shards of glass on the dining area below.”

One of the defendants told CBC News the allegations are false. CTV News reached out to those named in the suits and have not heard back. 

In a statement, Melnyk said he wouldn’t comment as it was before the courts. The Senators owner added, “in terms of travel, myself and my family complied with all public health protocols and laws in Canada and abroad and continue to do so.” 


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