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Five fishermen presumed dead in sinking of Alaska crabbing vessel

This undated photo shows the Scandies Rose vessel in Seattle. The search for five crew members of the Scandies Rose in Alaska has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard said after two other crew members of the vessel were rescued after the 130-foot crab fishing boat from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, sank on New Year's Eve.

This undated photo shows the Scandies Rose vessel in Seattle. The search for five crew members of the Scandies Rose in Alaska has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard said after two other crew members of the vessel were rescued after the 130-foot crab fishing boat from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, sank on New Year's Eve.   | Photo Credit: AP

Two men who escaped the capsized vessel in a life raft were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew and taken to a hospital in Kodiak, where they were reported to be in a stable condition, the Coast Guard said.

Five commercial fishermen lost at sea when their crabbing vessel capsized and sank on New Year's Eve in the Gulf of Alaska were presumed dead on Thursday after search-and-rescue operations were called off amid rough weather, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The crew of 130-foot (40-metre) Scandies Rose, owned by a Seattle-based fishing company and home-ported in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, issued a distress call late Tuesday night. Its last known location was about 270 km southwest of Kodiak, the Coast Guard said.

Two men who escaped the capsized vessel in a life raft were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew and taken to a hospital in Kodiak, where they were reported to be in a stable condition, the Coast Guard said.

But after criss-crossing 3,600 square km of sea for 20 hours with helicopters, airplanes and a cutter vessel, the Coast Guard called off its search for five other crew members on Wednesday night.

“The decision to suspend an active search-and-rescue case is never easy, and it's only made after careful consideration of a myriad of factors,” said Rear Admiral Matthew Bell, commander of the Coast Guard's Alaska district. “Our deepest condolences to the friends and families impacted by this tragedy.”

The Coast Guard described weather conditions during the search as challenging, with gale-force winds, high seas and limited visibility.

A spokeswoman said the Coast Guard had joined the National Transportation Safety Board in opening an investigation into the shipwreck.

The dead were identified as crew master Gary Cobban Jr., David Lee Cobban, Arthur Ganacias, Brock Rainey and Seth Rousseau-Gano. The survivors were Dean Gribble Jr. and John Lawler.

In this photo provided by Ashley Boggs, Boggs' fiance Brock Rainey, a crew member on the Scandies Rose, smiles in a selfie. The U.S. Coast Guard has called off the search for five crew members, including Rainey, of the crab fishing vessel that sank New Year's Eve off Alaska. The decision came after the service said it had exhausted all leads and considered the chances for survival.

In this photo provided by Ashley Boggs, Boggs' fiance Brock Rainey, a crew member on the Scandies Rose, smiles in a selfie. The U.S. Coast Guard has called off the search for five crew members, including Rainey, of the crab fishing vessel that sank New Year's Eve off Alaska. The decision came after the service said it had exhausted all leads and considered the chances for survival.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

The loss of the Scandies Rose marked the worst Alaska commercial fishing accident in nearly three years. In February of 2017, another crabbing vessel, the F/V Destination, sank in the Bering Sea, and all six aboard perished.

Crab fishing in the waters off Alaska ranks among the world's most hazardous occupations, posing a host of dangers to life and limb chronicled in the popular reality TV series “The Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 1:39:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/five-fishermen-presumed-dead-in-sinking-of-alaska-crabbing-vessel/article30467544.ece

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