Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1993

January 8, 1993     A crewman went overboard from the 116 foot crab fishing vessel Billikin 45 nautical miles from Saint Paul Island.  He was recovered from the water within 10 minutes but succumbed to hypothermia and was lost.

January 15, 1993     The 86 foot crab fishing vessel Massacre Bay sank after she grounded and capsized in Alitak Bay.  Lost were skipper Jock Bevis (42), Tom Salisbury (48) and Bill Corbin (45), all of Kodiak.  Matt Corriere (23) survived.

March 8, 1993     An ELT signal was picked up from the 86 foot cod trawler Lady of Good Voyage.  Only a crushed life ring and empty life raft were found.  Lost were skipper Gregory Schwindt (32) of Bellingham WA, Jeremy “Jay” Scott-Hunter (37) of Bellingham WA, Larry Hoover of Newport OR and Eddie Hoover of Portland OR.

May 26, 1993     Two crewmembers were lost when a large wave washed over the 41 foot salmon fishing vessel Sunrise in Strawberry Channel south of Cordova.  The vessel burned to the waterline and sank late the same summer.

June 6, 1993     Commercial fisherman Steven J Lozza died after an altercation aboard the ship on which he was working in Dutch Harbor.

July 30, 1993     The 38 foot salmon troller Sonia was found with no one on board at Cape Cross, Yakobi Island.  Her operator was presumed lost.

August 7, 1993     Clarence Jasper (62), owner of the 95 foot salmon tender Preston Brooks, was lost from hypothermia when his vessel sank in the Barren Islands.  Two other crewmembers were rescued.

August 10, 1993     Patrick “Kleet” Halsey was lost from the 104 foot crab fishing vessel Sea Venture in a deck accident while crab fishing.

September 13, 1993     The 58 foot crab fishing vessel Nettie H disappeared out of King Cove with 5 crewmembers on board.  The vessel was bound for Saint Paul Island.  Lost were Blake Grimstein of Bellingham WA, David Soileau of Cottage Grove OR, his girlfriend Julie Mereness of CO, Peter Soileau of Cottage Grove OR and Daniel Soileau of Conyers GA.

November 19, 1993     Eric Gromke (38) died of a heart attack aboard the 98 foot Big Valley during opilio crab season.

29 Replies to “Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1993”

  1. Looking through your site, I see so many familiar names. People I knew from Kodiak and Seattle, thank-you for taking the time to put this together. Any chance you would have any pics of the Southern Explorer? She was based out of Kodiak, she was my dads, George Johnson’s boat.

  2. David Soileau was a friend of mine. He planned it as his last trip with his brothers before getting married and leaving crabbing behind. Very sad loss of three brothers, David’s fiance, and their friend. Thanks for the record here.

    1. Hi, my name is Rhonda from Conyers,Ga., David Soileau & I we’re dating when he first went to Alaska & we stayed in touch through writing & when he would come back to the lower 48, we became engaged & although it was a brief engagement due to the struggles of a long distant relationship we parted ways on a very loving note… I didn’t find out about this tragic accident until 2003 via a phone conversation with his Mother about a rental house & during the conversation I found out her last name & I asked about David & that’s when I was told.. could you tell me more about his journey in Alaska & Oregon, maybe you have photos etc… David & I last communication was when he was in Fairbanks about 1983… You can contact me or on FB Rhonda Freeman Kennedy.. ..Thank you

  3. R.I.P to all, my sister was Julie Mereness even though I was only three when she passed. Does anyone know where I can find more articles?

    1. Sorry for your loss. I retired from the Alaska Commercial Fishing Industry the year your sister was lost. The information I used about the loss of the Nettie H. came from the 2011 Alaska Shipwreck list that was produced by the Bureau of Energy Management. Most of that compilation was put together by Michael Burwell who has since retired. He has been helping me with my research. In that list, it mentions that the information about the Nettie H came from the Alaska Fisherman’s Journal, Kodiak Daily Mirror and Anchorage Daily News. Unfortunately, I do not have copies of the articles for Julie’s loss. RIP Julie, Dave, Blake, Dan and Pete.

  4. Researching intentional shipwrecks of ships used to bring uranium to the queen charlotte island now known as Graham island that has a weather modification weapon operated by the British army and to Gakona, Alaska operated by the USA. Many fishing ships used secretively to deliver the uranium and remove the depleted uranium from these weather modification weapons known as HAARP have been intentionally sunk to muzzle the crew and the corporation that owns the ships. Two other ships sunk off in the Bering sea off coast of Washington state used to deliver Uranium to Queen charlotte island are the Artic Rose and Aleutian enterprize. I see no history on the shipwreck of the Westwind that was the sister ship of the Preston Brooks ship that was sunk on Aug. 7, 1993. Westwind was said to be sunk also in 1993 but before the Preston Brooks. Can not find any info on it.

    This info is logged in a racketeering case in New Orleans Sect R 15-08 McLean VS Obama, ET AL linked to a case filed in June 26, 2014 in Washington D.C. 1;14 cv 1076 McLean EX REL USA VS HAARP, et al. The US coast guard would be at risk due to their investigations of the sinkings of all these ships which is industrial and economic espionage. Notify the US coast guard in Alaska and Washington state.

    1. I have the Westwind mistakenly listed as the West Wind. It is not in the recent Maritime Losses section because there was no loss of life. The West Wind is listed in the A – Z section of this site. She went down in Orca Bay while tendering in Prince William Sound July 27, 1993. All four crew members were rescued. The official number of the Westwind is 284347. She was built in Neponset, Ma in 1944. I have never heard of the other things of which you speak. I would find it distasteful at the very least for a vessel that hauled radioactive material to also haul fresh fish.

      1. Dan had served in the Navy prior to his death and when he came home he predicted he would go missing at sea one day. That has haunted me for years.

  5. Re: Nettie H specs.
    I shipped on a “Nettie H” out of Seward for a Black Cod run in 1988. She was either 68 or 70′ by my recollection and rather a narrow 20′ beam. Could it be a different boat with same name or are the specs typo? She certainly wasnt the size of a limit seiner or the Excalibur which I JV’d on in the Bering…
    Thanks and condolences to all… I dont recognize the names…

    1. The Nettie H was 68 foot according to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission where she was registered to fish long line and pot gear. They use something akin to overall length. Her registered length was 58.3 which is likely her waterline length. Her registered breadth was 19.2 and depth 9.5 feet. She was built in 1973 with a different name which I haven’t figured out yet. Her call sign was WYU8477.

    2. Just did some more research on the NETTIE H and it appears her length changed in 1982. She was built in Port Mansfield, Texas as the VANGIE, official number 553680. She had a registered length of 58.3 feet. She had multiple owners over the years including Gulf Maiden Corp. of WA. registered out of Juneau. In 1978 she was called PARIAH and in 1979 her name was CAPE EDGECUMBE and her home port Sitka. In 1982 her owner, Eugene Olsen of Sand Point has her length listed as 58 feet at the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission with the name NETTIE H. In 1983 the same owner has her length listed as 68 feet at the ACFEC. The official length registered with the Coast Guard stayed 58.3 until she went down as the NETTIE H official number 553680. Thanks for your post and drawing my attention to this interesting logistics glitch.

  6. My cousin was Steven Lozza. He was 10 yrs older than me growing up so I didn’t know him as well as I wish I did. He was a true outdoorsman and I admired him and looked up to him. His family was like. A second family to me. Taken too soon from this earth. Still remember the times we were fishing for cod and stripers….

  7. I used to work in Dutch Harbor, Ak in the early 90s. I got to know a lot of the fishermen. I remember meeting a couple of the guys from the Lady Of Good Voyage. I knew the boat was registered in Newport, Or. I was there when the boat went down and was totally shocked and couldn’t believe it.
    When I went home on vacation to Albany, Or I saw a show on tv talking about fishing vessels out of Newport, the first boat they showed was the Lady Of Good Voyage, my heart sank and I sat there crying for the loss of those fine men.

    1. The guys on the Lady of Good Voyage were friends of mine as well. Jay and I worked together on the BonSuMar a couple years before. We also hung around together in Kodiak before that. When the Lady sank, I didn’t realize for many years that he was one of the lost because we called him Australian Jay and the paper called him Jeremy. I was looking at one of my old pay stubs from the BonSuMar and saw the rest of the crew names listed and realized then that my old friend had been lost. Unfortunately, Jay is not the only old friend I have found to have been lost. If you worked out of Dutch Harbor back then, there were likely other people you knew that didn’t make it home. I had a conversation with one of the lady deckhands in the fleet recently about how many people we each knew during the 1970’s, 1980’s and into the 1990’s that had been lost. We came to the conclusion that each of us knew over 100. A sad truth for those of us who circulated around the fleet.

  8. Re: Nettie H. I was a soccer teammate with Pete Soileau (Rockdale County High School – Conyers Georgia – Class of ’76). He was a good guy. I knew he and several of his brothers were lost at sea based on an article in our local newspaper published soon afterwards. A co-worker and I were talking and he mentioned he’d lived in Dutch Harbor Alaska for 10 years and just make me wonder if there was any information on the internet about Pete. Thanks for your efforts in archiving this information.

    1. I don’t know of anything. I spent a lot of time out in Dutch Harbor in the 1970’s and 1980’s but do not remember Pete. We likely crossed paths; it is a very small place. I also visited King Cove a few times back then, which is where his boat disappeared out of. If I hear of anything I will drop you a line. I still have friends out there in Dutch Harbor.

  9. I ran the Nettie H one season in the late 1980s, just preceding Pete Soileau and maitained contact with him and Blake Grinstein, who was a great friend throughout the years of their time on this boat. I was asked to run the boat for that season by Pete and Blake. I declined and have second guessed myself overand over that decision since the boat and crew were lost. The very last person to see the Nettie H was Lawrence Yachmanoff of False Pass when they passed in front of the village heading through the pass. I have a pretty good idea what happened after that and will share my thoughts sometime. My history with the boat goes through it’s various encarnations and name changes. I didn’t realize that the Nettie H was the same boat as the ones I had crossed paths with in earlier years untill reading the ships log and seeing the vessel documentation the year I ran her. It is quite a story. It is Christmas morning today. I use these times to reflect on the past in appreciation of life and those whose paths have intertwined with mine. The remembrance of my friends on the Nettie H and those connected through our lives in the fisheries brought me to this site today, for the first time… Peace to you all.

  10. So, there was a small boat that I presume belong to Peter Soileau, that apparently he gave to his brother John. John passed on, and his wife sold that boat on Craigslist to someone who contacted me recently, because he saw my comment on this page. He was wondering about who built that boat. Meanwhile, I have been writing a song a day this month, for the challenge of it, and decided it was time to write this song. I wrote it from David’s perspective, as he was my friend. I did a little research to try to figure out some of the details that were known, and so, fresh and unpolished, here it is. I’m amazed that out of all the comments on this page so many of them were friends of the Nettie H crew. Anyway, here is the song. If you want to contact me, you can check in on fb from my dharmikmusic page. In memory of our friends and family:
    Listen to I’m Going to the Sea by dharmika on #SoundCloud

    Also, if anyone knows who built Peter’s boat, let me know and I will pass it on.

  11. Julie Mereness was riding along on the Nettie H. when the boat went down. She was a beautiful blue eyed blonde 22 year old girl full of life. Very creative and artistic. She died as she lived having adventures and dreaming of the future. She was in love and soon to marry. When they vanished there was a search. A couple months later she was found tied into a raft off the coast of Oregon. The cold water near St. Paul was very quick at lest. I like to think maybe her fiance may have tied her in..any of those boys would have tried to save her. God holds each in his warm embrace now..forever young..forever dreaming..

    1. The Nettie H disappeared between False Pass and St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea September 13, 1993. The life raft with the remains of Julie Merenes was found May 5, 1994 near Cape Constantine in the Bristol Bay area of the Bering sea by the F/V Catcher. Sorry for your loss. RIP Julie, Blake, Peter, Dave and Daniel.

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