Ontario Fury midfielder Joseph Cairel dies in boating accident

Ontario Fury midfielder Joseph Cairel died in a boating accident Friday in northern California.

The Fury plays in the Major Arena Soccer League. Cairel joined the Fury as a free agent last summer. He had also played with the Tacoma Stars.

According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, Cairel fell into the water June 26 – his 29th birthday – in Indian Slough near Discovery Bay in the San Joaquin Delta.

“He fit right in with our team as soon as he arrived,” club president Bernie Lilavois said. “Always smiling, always cheering up his teammates. He was a hard worker on the field with some serious speed, and off the field was just a great character having a good time with his teammates. He was definitely a fan favorite and a great teammate to our guys.

“He will be greatly missed by many and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends during an extremely difficult time.”

The club released a tribute to Cairel on Tuesday morning:

“On June 26, 1991, Joseph Cairel came into this world, and he would live his life to the absolute fullest. He was a son, a brother, a friend, a teammate, a coach, a role model, and the best daddy to his four-legged little princess Nova. Joseph was the light of his family, always making sure they were taken care of and he was there for whatever they needed. Joseph had an infectious smile that could make anyones worst day better. He was fun loving and caring, he was full of life, and had a love for soccer. Joseph spent his life perfecting his love for the game and leaving all his skills on the field, he loved his teammates like brothers and adored his fans.

“….There are no words to explain the loss his family is going through at this time.They are not the type to ask for help, but in this time of need they are asking for help to lay their son and brother to rest. Nothing can prepare you for the road that they are now walking down. Thank you for taking the time to read our story, we miss him like crazy and this world is forever missing ‘The Jet.’”

Cairel, a resident of Marina in Monterey County, was an alumnus of Monterey Peninsula College.

A GoFundMe account has been established to assist with the burial costs. As of Tuesday, $6,041 has been raised.