Braz McDonald was considered a "good guy," and crewmen liked to fish with him because he was a "competent and decent captain." John Linehan, general manager of the Seafood Producers' Association at the time, said that the Red Start "was a good boat and kept in good repair" and that Braz was "a wonderful captain."
He was the son of Martin and Clara Julia de Fraga McDonald. Braz left a wife, Rosemarie Alfano, whom he married in 1932, and children.
The Redstart left Fairhaven for Georges Bank. As Hurricane Carol approached on August 31, 1954, they headed for port. The hurricane overtook them, and the vessel struck Davis South Shoal and broke up before any boats or floats could be launched. A Coast Guard search began on September 2. Wreckage was recovered, but the eleven crew members were not found.