Another tragedy has struck the Alaska fishing fleet. The KATMAI, a 93-foot head and gut fishing vessel capsized and sank in the Aleutian Islands early in the morning on Wednesday, October 22. It now appears that only four of the KATMAI’s eleven crewmembers survived.
The last communication from the KATMAI was an e-mail reporting incursion of water into the lazerette, followed by loss of steering. Shortly thereafter, the vessel foundered in the trough of 20-foot seas and capsized, casting her crew into the 43 degree waters of the North Pacific.
The Coast Guard has begun hearings in Anchorage to investigate the KATMAI sinking. There will be an opportunity to determine the cause of this unspeakable catastrophe. For now, all of us associated with the maritime industry in the Pacific Northwest can only convey our condolences to the families and friends of those who have perished.