Atmore man dies at sea

Published 12:25 pm Monday, July 25, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Scott Gibbs's family never had to worry about him doing what he said.
He was known for being reliable.
That's why his wife Laura Helton Gibbs feared that something was wrong when he didn't call her on Sunday, July 10.
Her worst fears became a reality later that evening.
She received notice that Scott had died at 3:12 p.m. that day while at work with Seacor Marine on a supply boat off the coast of Louisiana. Now two weeks later, she struggles with her loss with their four-year anniversary less than a week away.
"I'm not real sure what's next," Laura said. "I really don't know."
Scott and Laura were to celebrate their anniversary this Friday, July 29. This year's will be the hardest for the young widow.
Scott, 23, an engineer with Seacor, died after collapsing in the galley. Resuscitation by crew members was unsuccessful.
"They really don't know what happened," Laura's mother Linda Helton said. "He came into the galley, and it is up in the air to whether he had been on the back of the boat or what, and he sat down and they said he looked tired. The guy that was in the galley heard a thump and Scott had fell over."
Scott, a resident of Atmore and a 2000 graduate of Northview High School, loved his job working on the ocean. In fact, he was preparing to take his captain's exam with the Coast Guard.
Laura, 22, said that although it's been difficult to deal with the loss of her husband and father of their one-year-old son, Austin Taylor Gibbs, Scott's friends have been there for support.
"He had a lot of friends and they took it pretty hard," Laura said. "He had a lot of family, but he really loved being on the water, it was his love. He loved life and loved being around people and having a good time."
"He was a happy guy, he was always happy," Linda added.
Laura said having that type support from others that were close to Scott has helped her cope with the loss better.
"It's helped a lot, it's kept my mind off it," she said. "His friends have been there for me and help keep my mind off losing him. They help keep my spirits up."
Scott's mother, Wanda Gibbs, recalled her son's mischievous childhood.
"Scott was into things since he was six months old when he started walking," she said. "I could tell you many, many stories about things that he took apart and couldn't put back together, things he broke trying to figure how it worked and the things he fixed after taking it apart and putting it back together.
"He was a very rambunctious child, but he grew up to be a wonderful adult and father. Scott was special. He was a very special person," she added.
Linda said she will miss Scott's homecomings, when he returned from sea. She recalled him always coming home and announcing that her favorite son-in-law was home and her nephew David always reminding him that he was her only son-in-law. Scott always responded that he was still her favorite.
"I adored him, we spent hours talking," Linda said. "He would lay across the foot of my bed and we would talk for hours. He was interested in every part of life; there wasn't any part that he didn't know something about. He really knew what he was talking about. He would see me out working in the yard with a shovel and would take the shovel away from me and finish for me. He was the best, best little father. He knew how to be a father without anyone telling him how and you don't see that much in young people today."
Not only would Scott offer any type of assistance to his family, but to others as well. He was always willing to lend a helpful hand.
There wasn't anything in the world that Scott didn't think he couldn't do," Wanda said. "For Scott there as no such thing as 'I can't do that.' He may not want to do that, but if he made up his mind to do something, it was done."
Linda said she would not only miss the times spent with Scott, but she'll also miss the joy he brought to her daughter.
"He was loved, I don't know how we're going to live without him. Most importantly he loved my daughter and she knew it and she loved him and he knew it. He grounded my daughter; he gave her focus. My husband, Don, and I adored him."
For now, Laura is continuing the business venture she had started prior to her husband's death. She will be opening 4-Paws Pet Salon in Atmore next month.
As for Scott, his memory will live on through his family and friends and will never be forgotten.
"Scott died doing what he loved," Wanda said. "Not everyone in life can do a job that they love, Scott was one of the lucky people that did."

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