Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1986

January 6, 1986     Owner operator Randy Knutson and crewman Rich Beamlander were lost when the 40 foot double ended power troller Camelot disappeared while fishing for rockfish near Sitka.

February 20, 1986     The South Korean freighter Chil Bo San No. 1 was lost with 18 crewmembers on its way to Alaska from Japan.

February 22, 1986     An unnamed skiff capsized with two people on board 50 miles east of Sand Point.  One made it to safety and the other was lost.

March 24, 1986     Two people were lost when an unnamed private pleasure boat capsized out of Larsen Bay.

March 26, 1986     The cabin cruiser Sand Pebble grounded and was lost along with three people 100 miles southwest of Juneau near the south end of Chichagof Island.

May 16, 1986     Clinton B. Thorp (14) and Felton Trevino (15) from Anchorage were lost when the cabin cruiser Bluebird II, which they had stolen, sank near Harbor Island 32 miles southwest of Seward.

June 11, 1986     One seventeen year old was missing when an unnamed skiff was found grounded on a sand bar near Pelican, Chichagof Island.  The throttle was wide open and gas tank full when the vessel was found.

June 20, 1986     A man was lost when the anchor line from his unnamed skiff caught around his ankle and capsized the vessel a mile and a half off shore from Deep Creek.  He was never seen again.

June 25, 1986     An unnamed skiff capsized a mile south of Sitka and only one of the three persons on board made it to shore.  He flagged down the fishing vessel Misfit but the other two people were not found.

June 28, 1986     One person was lost from an unnamed small boat that burned from a camp stove fire at the mouth of the Eak River south of Bethel.  Two had abandoned the vessel but only one made it to safety.

July 3, 1986     Fred (Chris) Coyle III of Kodiak drowned at a setnet site.

July 15, 1986     A family of five was lost on the Yukon River south of Beaver from an unnamed river boat.  Three children were under the age of 9.

July 25, 1986     Two were lost when an unnamed skiff swamped in a strong wind and changing tide near Point Mackenzie, Cook Inlet.

August 1, 1986     Louis Polries (55) fell from his boat and drowned on Lake Clark near Port Alsworth while on a solo fishing trip.

August 6, 1986     Four men were thrown into the water at Anan Creek in Bradfield Canal southeast of Wrangell when their unnamed skiff swamped and capsized.  Three made it to safety but one was lost.

August 13, 1986     John Sparks of Kodiak was lost overboard from the 36 foot Shadrack near Whale Pass.

September 11, 1986     Alex Halsworth, Ken Ridgely, Richard Bennett and Abbey Picket were lost when the fishing vessel Normar II swamped and capsized 120 miles northeast of Saint Paul Island.

September 27, 1986     An unnamed zodiac skiff capsized 15 miles south of Seward in Resurrection Bay and one of the three persons on board was lost.

October 22, 1986     John F Connery (18) of Raymond, Washington died of carbon monoxide poisoning aboard the Cape Uyak at the Channel Transit Float in Kodiak.

October 30, 1986     The troller Danube disappeared while on a crabbing trip. Lost were owner Scott Lewis and crewmembers Tom Kelly and Bill Tugman, all from Juneau.  Wreckage was found on Douglas and Admiralty Island.

October 31, 1986     Two people were presumed drowned when their unnamed skiff was found overturned between Keyes Point and Nondalton.

December 27, 1986     An unnamed pleasure boat with five men aboard swamped from the stern in Sheratin Bay northwest of Kodiak and two men were lost.

20 Replies to “Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1986”

    1. All I have is that the Camelot went missing with two people on board. I have searched newspaper records online but haven’t found any particulars. If you have any information, like names or details I would greatly appreciate them. Old newspaper records are being digitized constantly, so the information will likely come available in the next few years. I am always updating and make an attempt to make sure no losses are forgotten.

      1. Randy Knutson was the captain of the Camelot that went missing on January 6, 1986. His deckhand was named Rich Beamlander.

        The crew of the Danube that sank October 30, 1986 was captain Scott Lewis and crew Bob Kelly and Bill Tugman.

        Thank you for your commitment to honor those “lost” at sea.

        1. Thank you for these names. I cannot begin to tell you how important I think it is that we not forget these lost mariners. Not having a record of who was lost on which boat is like having a graveyard full of headstones with no names on them. I have dedicated a good part of my life to try to correct that.

  1. My brother, Wayne Allen Mendenhall, died 12/11/86, while on a commercial fishing vessel in the Kodiak Island area. I do not see any record, and would like to know if you can located it for me? He was 24 years old, from Salem, Oregon. If you need more information, please advise. Thank you.

    1. I have not been able to find anything about your brother, Wayne Allen Mendenhall so far. Do you have any idea what the name of the boat he worked on was? Any small detail can be helpful. What he may have been fishing for and where…anything. I will keep looking and thanks from letting me know of someone who needs to be remembered.

      1. I think the commercial fishing vessel name had enterprise in it.
        They were fishing 20 miles out of Kodak, when he died of sudden death. Was brought into shore, and examined at corners as having micro carditis. Date was 12/11/85. I might be off a year.
        Fishing for cod, halibut and salmon. No ship wreak involved. Just unfortunate event. They sent his body home to Salem, Or.

        1. This information should help. I have been searching newspapers digitally, so I can change the search parameters with different information. I haven’t had success yet, but will keep trying. Sorry for your brother’s loss.

        2. Many newspapers are not yet available online including Kodiak. There is a newspaper called the Statesman Journal that has articles about your brother, but they want me to pay for a more substantial subscription to the service I use. On December 16, 1986 Pg 5 and Pg 12, December 17, 1986 Pg 17 and December 18, 1986 Pg 18 there were notices or articles about the passing of Wayne Allen Mendenhall. I can only see small parts of each of these so I cannot see most of the details. At least we know it was December 11, 1986 when he passed away. As time goes on, more newspapers will be available from the services I use and I will be able to research this more thoroughly and get a boat name. Then I can put his information into my research and publications.

          1. Yes, this is correct. The Statesman Journal is the newspaper in Salem, oregon. Our hometown. Thanks!!! See above comment as well!

  2. Hi!
    I see that you have listed the shipwreck that claimed my father’s life. The Seagull II. 8/10/1986
    I have only heard mostly verbal accounts of his death and was hoping to find more articles and rescorces to learn more.
    I do have one newspaper clippings about it from the local paper. But was wondering if you came across more in your reasearch.

    1. Sorry for your loss.I just did a search of the two newspaper sites I subscribe to and could not find anything on the Seagull II. More newspapers are digitized every month so hopefully some of Alaska’s papers from the 1980’s will come online soon. I will put the Seagull II on my list to look for more information. What was your Dad’s name? Whatever information you have would be helpful.

      1. My husband also has a cousin who died in the Seagull ll, his name was Don Lee Hammond so any info on the Seagull ll would be much appreciated.
        Don Lee was his father’s best man at his wedding. Would love to have more info on his death.

        1. SEAGULL II (1986) The converted landing craft Seagull II disappeared August 10, 1986 on a trip from Kotzebue to Deering. There is very little in the Seagull II file. I will do some research and see what I can find. Sorry for your loss.

        2. It appears that the Seagull II was a freight barge built in 1945 at Portland, Oregon with Official Number 583286. She at one time was a diesel powered landing craft which in 1981 was listed with 460 horsepower. She was owned by Kikiutaugruk Boat Corp of AK. At the time of her disappearance she was hauling pilings and a portable drilling rig between Kotzebue and Deering. A search turned up no clues. She was 49 gross 34 net tons, with a length of 54 feet, breadth 14.1 feet, depth 7.6 feet and of steel construction.

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