Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1984

January 22, 1984     The 96 foot trawler Mary Lou rolled over and sank off Cape Decision after being hit by a large wave on a trip from Seattle to Kodiak.  Three crewmembers survived and two were lost.  Lost were skipper and part owner Tom Hansen (33) of Seattle and Fred Blanchard (25) of Portland.

February 14, 1984     14 people were lost and 8 rescued when the Japanese trawler Kyowa Maru No. 11 collided with the Anyo Maru No. 15 approximately 120 miles N of Atka.

March 15, 1984     Frederick Clark from Kodiak was lost when he fell overboard from the George W while working on deck in Ugak Bay.

May 21, 1984     Herring spotters Greg Curley and Walter Hansen died in a mid air collision over Togiak.

May 21, 1984     Douglas Bangs of Anchorage and two friends were lost when their boat disappeared while halibut fishing near Kasilof.

July 21, 1984     Hal Dierich, Jack Johnson, Harold Martin and Fred Monson were lost in a plane crash near Black Point, Spruce Island.

July 23, 1984     Bellevue, Washington businessman Herbert Clausing was lost when his 28 foot cabin cruiser Wild Canary sank in Chatham Strait north of Port Alexander.

August 2, 1984     Jess Eggemeyer was lost after falling off the dock in Larsen Bay.

September 30, 1984     The 48 foot wooden fishing vessel Curlew sank in a rescue attempt of the fishing vessel  Kelly Ann in the Shumagin Islands.  She was towing the Kelly Ann when the disaster took place.  The Kelly Ann cut the towline as the Curlew foundered and managed to start her engine, avoid the nearby rocks and save Ray Miller from the sinking Curlew.  Lost from the Curlew were David Miller of Kodiak, Jeff O’Donoghue and Phil O’Donoghue.

November 20, 1984     Daryl Dickenson (13) was lost when the seiner Dotty G flipped in 90 knot winds while at anchor in Zaikof Bay on the northeast coast of Montague Island.

December 26, 1984     Roger Arlo (Butch) DeGrote from the fishing vessel Scorpio drowned in the Kodiak Small Boat Harbor.

21 Replies to “Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1984”

  1. Why is there no listing for S.E.S. Propeller?

    Sank near Wrangle Narrows either late July or early August 1984.

    1. All I have on the Sea Scout Ship Propeller is a newspaper report from August 27, 1984 with details of the grounding of the Propeller. According to the Daily Sitka Sentinel, 19 Sea Scouts and 5 others were rescued by the U S Coast Guard Cutter Cape Hatteras and the distressed vessel provided with de-watering pumps. The vessel was partially submerged but expected to be re-floated. The incident took place off of Level Island about 25 miles south of Petersburg. As far as I can see, no wreck report was filed. This vessel is still listed as active on the U S Coast Guard CGMIX PSIX website. There are hundreds of sunken vessels still on the Coast Guard vessel lists because no formal paperwork was ever filed. This may be one. Do you know for sure if this vessel was lost?

      1. I am surprised that no paperwork was filed.
        The SES Propeller was on the reef two or three days at most. It was not likely it could be refloated because the keel was broken. Locals stripped it of valuables. Then it slipped off the reef and could not be located.

        1. I will do some more research and see if I can’t find more information. In the mean time, I will add the Propeller into my lost vessel files and update all publications to reflect the loss. Thanks for the information.

          1. I was on board the Propeller as a Sea Explorer from Olympia. I can probably find any information you may want – there was in fact a self published book about this written by Raymond Gillespie (our skipper).

  2. This book the about the Propeller Down Bow, Stern High On A Reef Paperback – 2003
    by Sr. Raymond E. Gillespie (Author) Amazon

    Roster of the crew aboard the S.E.S Propeller When the vessel ran aground near Level Island, Alaska, on August 25, 1984.

    From Seattle, WA, S.E.S Propeller, #62
    Skipper: Captain Barnard A. Bruce II
    Chris Longen
    Lee Swanson

    From Tumwater, WA, S.E.S American Adventurer, #453
    Skipper: Raymond E. Gillespie, Sr.
    Mate: Mike Schmitz
    David Braley
    Jerry Brown
    David Fekter
    Peter John Fekter
    John Flanagan
    Jeff Orem
    Jeff Schmitz
    Dave Smith
    Kevin Tipton
    Dan Williams

    From Portland OR, S.E.S Genesis, #650
    Skipper: Bonnie O’Day
    Mate: Christine (Tina) Kelley
    Kristen Hyatt
    Katherine Kelley
    Dorena Kreitzer
    Debra (Debbie) Mowery
    Kim Roberts
    Lisa Stuva

      1. The Crew was rescued by the Coast Guard Cape Hatteras (an Inflatable Boat) transferred to a fishing boat called the Defiant, then transferred to the Otter who took us in to Petersburg, Alaska. I have the video transferred to Digital and the Petersburg Pilot did a story on the Rescue August 30th, 1984. Unfortunately the Propeller slipped of the Reef to never be seen again. If you would like a copy of the book I have an extra one and the video, please send a private message.

  3. I am David Smith, one of the former Sea Explorers (Scouts) from that wreck. The boat is still up there on a shelf hundreds of feet down. With respect to Mr. Gillespie’s account, it is grossly inaccurate on several facts. I was the Crew Leader who took shift at 2345.

  4. The Propeller was a total loss. There is a different boat by the same name in use by the scouts in Seattle – effectively the replacement for the original SES Propeller. I too was aboard at the time of the wreck. Thankfully, there was no loss of life and no serious injuries. For me, it was certainly a very formative youthful adventure that I wouldn’t recommend repeating. I’ve never read Ray’s book – but I’m sure he took some artistic liberties. I think he wanted it to be a children’s book.

    1. I see where Oscar Olsen had the Angeles in 1980 registered to longline in Alaska. After that Blaine Protien owned it on and then Virgil Viereck Jr in 1985. Someone named Bruce Danielson owned her from 1987 until 1989. All of these owners were registered for longline fishing in Alaska. After 1989 I do not see any more. I will do some more research and get back to you in the next couple days. The Angeles was built in 1927 in Seattle. I have the Merchant Vessels listings for her back to her original year. I do not have her as an Alaska Shipwreck. I can look around to see if she became a derelict or is possibly around using a new name.

      1. The Angeles wrecked on the rocks in Canada not Alaska & was towed by Canadian Coast guard or salvage? Oscar Olsen…owner was rescued & was the only crew member aboard. My Grandfather was Occar. Wondering where the boat is & if still afloat?

        1. I haven’t had any luck finding articles describing the wreck of the Angeles or what happened afterward. The vessel was active in Alaska until 1989 when Bruce Danielson of Clackamas, OR had it but I do not see what happened afterward. Her Official Number is 226238 which when looked up in the USCG Registry still shows up as the Angeles. If the name had been changed, looking up the Official Number should show the new name. The Merchant Vessels List of 1989 shows the vessel owned by Blaine Protein Inc. of Bellingham, WA so I presume there is an association between Bruce Danielson and that company. 1989 is the most recent published Merchant Vessel List I have access to. Blaine Protein appears to have been a fish meal plant.

    1. Arctic Mist capsized and sank 75 miles east of Kodiak May 13, 1985, Chapeasue sank August 20, 1984 near Hinchinbrook Entrance, Cowboy sank August 20, 1981 in the Gulf of Alaska, Gemini iced up and sank January 15, 1980 in the Gulf of Alaska, Helen Jean was lost April 11, 1983 in the Gulf of Alaska, Irish Rover exploded and burned December 18, 1983 in the Gulf of Alaska, Paula Diane struck a log and sank August 23, 1983 in the Gulf of Alaska to name a few. If you can think of more specific information it would be helpful. Any names, what fishery, time of year, rough size, where in the Gulf, were there any casualties or anything else would help me zero in. For this list I just did a work search of “Gulf of Alaska” and picked out the ones between 1980 and 1985.

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