Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1990

January 24, 1990     A crewmember was lost when the 94 foot steel crab fishing vessel Shellfish took a roll in heavy seas north of Unimak Island in the Bering Sea.

January 25, 1990     A sea cucumber diver ran out of air and died near Sitka.  The tragedy was blamed on inexperience.

January 29, 1990     John Cantu and Karen Norton when the U S Fish and Wildlife Service vessel Kittiwake capsized at Adak.

February 28, 1990     The 60 foot steel trawler J. Aus disappeared with three crewmembers near Cape Spencer.  A life raft, an EPIRB and one survival suit were all that was found. . Lost with the vessel were skipper Mick Aus of King Cove, Dave Strom and Tracy Hill.

March 8, 1990     An intoxicated crewmember fell overboard from the 324 foot fish processor Arctic Enterprise and suffered a fatal injury in Lost Harbor.

March 22, 1990     The 162 foot Aleutian Enterprise capsized and sank while hauling in a cod end 60 miles south of St Paul Island.  22 crewmembers were rescued by other fishing vessels.  Nine were lost including Nello Marciel (55) of San Diego, John Dietrich (31) of Seattle, Matthew Schneider (22) of Issaquah WA, Joseph Alaimo (45) of Yakima WA, Robert Davies (26) of Renton WA, Jeffrey Houston (21) of Warren OR, Jayier Martin Valenzuela Castro (27) of Seattle, passenger David Jeffries (19) of Fontano CA, and an observer, Robert McCord (35) of Englewood CO.

April 22, 1990     The master of the 49 foot wooden salmon gillnetter Lady Louise fell from his vessel in Akutan Harbor and was never found.

May 1, 1990     Joseph Francis Lum was lost from the longline fishing vessel Karen Marie after falling into a fish hold during a halibut opening.

May 7, 1990     Two people were lost in a skiff accident in Yakutat Bay.  The 16 foot vessel was found with bow damage.

May 13, 1990     Paul Lemke (29) of Corvallis OR slipped and fell to his death aboard the 211 foot fish tender Ocean Pride near Hagemeister Island in the Bering Sea.

May 14, 1990     Craig Nielson (20) was lost from the 97 foot fishing vessel Discovery.

May 31, 1990     Gerry (Gary) D Munson was presumed lost from the 44 foot fiberglass halibut longliner Dreamer.  The vessel departed Seward but Munson was nowhere to be found when the Dreamer reached the Chignik area.

June 10, 1990     An intoxicated crewmember was lost from the 33 foot fiberglass fishing vessel Gladys M while attempting to set the anchor near Naknek in Bristol Bay.

July 25, 1990     A crewmember fell overboard in rough seas and was lost from the 194 foot steel trawler Alaska Voyager north of Adak.  The crewman was wearing a safety harness and fellow crewmembers were able to get him back aboard but he did not survive.

August 7, 1990     A foreman fell to his death aboard the 139 foot steel trawler Ocean Explorer at Unimak Pass.

August 24, 1990     The 46 foot wooden salmon gillnetter Verma sank in Snow Passage after a collision with the tug John Brix.  Kenneth Kahklen (34) was lost and five were rescued from the Verma by the Viking Serenade.

September 29, 1990     One person was lost when the 30 foot fiberglass gillnet salmon fishing vessel Day’s End capsized at Montague Island.

October 8, 1990     Two were lost when the 32 foot aluminum gillnet salmon fishing vessel Arcticus Rex capsized in 30 knot winds and heavy seas in Unimak Pass.  Lost were Gary Marshall (36) of Kingston MA and Deborah Caterson (29) of Anchorage.

October 16, 1990     One crewmember was lost overboard from the 166 foot steel crab fishing vessel Diomedes in the Gulf of Alaska southwest of Kodiak Island.

October 21, 1990     A crewmember fell overboard and drowned from the 250 foot fish processor Northern Alaskan at Old Harbor, Kodiak Island.

October 24, 1990     The 158 foot crab fishing vessel Pacific Apollo sank near the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia on her way to a Bering Sea crab opening.  Arthur Stein was the lone survivor. Lost were captain Pat Berg, Len Dodge and Terry Goebel.

November 8, 1990     Three crewmembers were lost when the 25 foot skiff from the Coastal Star capsized in Port Moller.

November 21, 1990     John Heck (29) of Kodiak was lost from the 100 foot Surland in the Bering Sea near Bristol BayHeck was pulled overboard when he became tangled with a crab line.

November 28, 1990     Sam Batcheler and John Slagill were lost from the tugboat Red Jacket.  The two had gone to shore on Seguam Island in the Aleutians in a 12 foot zodiac in search of potable water.  Neither the zodiac nor the two crewmembers were ever seen again.

12 Replies to “Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1990”

  1. March 1990 Halibut Schooner Attu runs aground then sinks Kayak Island. All Seven crew rescued by USCG. No loss of life. I think this happened on the 29th, but not sure. Hope this helps.

    1. Thanks JR. I have thousands of wrecks to enter still, that being one of them. I have been putting in the vessels where lives were lost first so the Attu will be later. My records say the 28th but I will cross reference.

    2. I fished on the Pacific Apollo for the first trip of opilios 1990 with Capt Pat, Chief Ken and Deck Boss Terry. I believe he was from Bainbridge Island. Showed me a picture of the yacht he was building.
      Apollo was a big boat, but nothing can withstand the wrath of the winter Gulf of Alaska, not even the best like Capt Pat. Securing her for sea was a tour of duty with her full and riding the scuppers. The GOA is an unforgiving and unpredictable weather pattern, as many in the industry have testified to over the past five decades. The industry ushered in a new era of brethren for the US commercial fisheries. Captain Pat was a kind, kind hearted man, I testify to this, as were Len and Terry. I remember them well to this day.

  2. I was on the F.V.Attu when she floundered my 3rd season on the Attu 1st under Joe Hackstead the Attu began sinking mid afternoon the 29th. Thankyou for posting her name she was historical in nature a wonderful sea vessel and my home for 11 months of my life. I miss her.

    1. Once again, Thank You very much for your information. The importance of remembering these names for families and friends is beyond words. I have added Gerry D Munson to the 1990 losses. He was only 32. RIP

  3. My father use to own the F/V Surland that was mentioned above where a crewmember unfortunately lost their life from a crab line wrapping around his foot. I was actually trying to figure out whatever happened to that boat after my dad sold it,,I believe around that time in the early 90s. The boat was named after his grandfather Surland Ness who also died at sea I believe on the Trinity which burn down A while after his death, before I was born. The Surland will always have a special place in my heart because I grew up on that boat. My first pet was an Alaskan King crab which was caught on that boat and I also remember my first 50 pound halibut that I caught myself when the fish weighed more than me. The boat has residual life and death, a full circle of life and hopefully I find whatever happened to it.

    1. I remember your Dad. From what I can see, his boat the Surland was primarily a crabber from 1981 until 1990. He apparently sold it and it was renamed the Northern Lady continuing to crab and longline in Alaska until February 13, 1995 when she caught fire and sank in the Bering Sea northwest of St. Paul Island. The crew of six was able to escape. The Coast Guard has her listed as “Sunk not recoverable”.

  4. I also know Ron, and the F/V SURLAND was my greatest memory,s . Almost 3 years I stayed on for every trip, worked for 3 captains . And set the tone for the rest of my life. Thank you for the info !

    1. Your Dad must be Bruce. Here is the news article: JUNEAU, Alaska – A fishing boat from Everett ran aground and sank in heavy weather near
      Kayak Island, but all seven people aboard were rescued, Coast Guard officials said today.
      The skipper and six crew members, all from the Puget Sound area, donned survival suits,
      boarded a life raft last night and were taken aboard a Coast Guard helicopter, said Petty
      Officer Fritz Richter.
      “This went real well. After the accident, after the grounding, they did everything right,”
      Richter said.
      The 65-foot Attu, a long-line halibut schooner owned by Donald Knutsen, sank in about 54
      feet of water with 1,500 gallons of fuel aboard.
      Richter said the Attu struck a reef about 200 miles east-southeast of Anchorage and began
      to sink in 8-to 10-foot seas with 25-knot winds.
      The skipper, Joe Hackstadt, and crew members Don White, Gary Garman, Bruce Rambo,
      Jason Hannan, Andre Soulek and Kaare Beell, escaped injury and were taken to Cordova,
      about 50 miles west of Kayak Island, Richter said.
      Copyright 1990 The Seattle Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *