Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1995

January 15, 1995     The 93 foot steel crab fishing vessel Northwest Mariner capsized and was lost with all hands 120 miles NW of Saint Paul Island the opening day of Opilio Crab Season.  The entire crew of six was from Washington State.  Two crewmembers were found deceased in a life raft and four others went missing.  Lost were Jim Foster (37) of Seattle, Larry Johnston (36) of Bellevue, Bruce Ford (38) of Edmonds, Rob Olsen (26) of Seattle, Bob Peterson (35) of Seattle and Troy Collins (30) of Everett.

January 27, 1995     Terje Leite (50) of Kodiak was lost when the 71 foot steel crab fishing vessel Sugar Bear sank in the Bering Sea 50 miles SW of Saint Paul Island during the Opilio Crab Season.  All six crewmembers abandoned ship to a life raft but Leite died before they were rescued.

March 21, 1995      Miles Dewitt was lost when the 35 foot wooden salmon troller Gray Ghost flooded and sank near Whitestone Harbor, 29 miles southwest of Juneau.  Dewitt and a second crewmember, Mark White, were rescued by the fishing vessel Hoover.  White was treated for minor hypothermia but Dewitt did not survive.  Dewitt’s survival suit was in very poor condition.

May 5, 1995     One person was lost while diving to disentangle a net from the 28 foot herring fishing vessel Norton Bay at Unalakleet.  The diver became tangled in the net beneath the vessel and ran out of air.

May 19, 1995     Douglas Evan Emerick died when his boat, the Julee Anna rolled over and crushed him on the tidal grid at Larsen Bay.

May 27, 1995     Todd Mitchell Eggars, master of the 202 foot steel factory trawler Alaska Spirit died when the vessel caught fire dockside at Seward.  Seven other crewmembers survived.

June 14, 1995     One person died and one was rescued when a 19 foot skiff got caught in a salmon net and overturned in Dry Bay near Yakutat.

June 15, 1995     One person was lost and two were rescued when the 34 foot fiberglass crab fishing vessel Miss Doreen capsized and sank at anchor in Portage Bay.

June 25, 1995     A crewmember went missing and was later found drowned from the 37 foot wooden fishing vessel Umnak which was moored at Sand Point.

June 29, 1995     One crewmember went overboard from the 30 foot fiberglass salmon troller Sharlil in Nelson Lagoon.  A second crewman drowned while assisting the crewmember in the water, who survived.

July 6, 1995     An 18 foot aluminum salmon skiff capsized in heavy weather at Togiak and the operator of the vessel was lost.

August 3, 1995     A crewmember died accidentally when he got caught in a winch aboard the 56 foot wooden salmon fishing vessel Cape Falcon near Dall Island.

August 15, 1995     The 310 foot steel fish tender Coastal Star lost a crewmember overboard near Port Moller.

September 4, 1995     The owner of the 44 foot wooden salmon fishing vessel Cape Alava fell overboard and was lost while anchoring at Knight Island in Prince William Sound.

December 1, 1995     The captain of the 110 foot tug Tongass , Mike Keso, was lost when the vessel capsized and sank in rough seas near Point Retreat, 20 miles NW of Juneau.  One other crewman survived.

5 Replies to “Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1995”

  1. The F/V Northwest Mariner always stays in my mind. They along with the other mariner boats delivered to Snopac in St. George. They were in St. George at the fuel/pot dock taking on gear before the season started. They usually stored 110 pots each on island. It was late evening and obviously dark. We had a Western Pioneer Freighter(Bowfin?or another one of the old single screws) on its way in and we asked them to use our inner arm dock since the Northwest Mariner was at the fuel/pot dock. Being dark and maybe getting St. George mixed up with St. Paul the Bowfin came in fast past the second entrance and headed straight for the Northwest Mariner. Once he realized his mistake he put the boat in reverse and the crew were running to the bow with bumpers. They stopped a couple feet from the portside wheelhouse of the Northwest Mariner and were able to back away. I can vividly remember the prop spinning hard out of the water on the freighter and the guys on the Northwest Mariner oblivious to what was going on the portside of their boat as they were busy on deck rigging pots. Had the freighter rammed the bow and the wheelhouse of the mariner hard enough I dont think they would have left for the opener or maybe fished the season at all. They all might be still alive to this day and that always sticks in my mind about the Northwest Mariner.

    1. An amazing number of boats have been lost during January and February. Many of those have been fishing tanners or opilios. January 15, 1995 was the day that the Northwest Mariner capsized. That is the same day the Big Valley was lost in 2005 west of St. Paul.

    2. I fished blue crab on that boat just a month or so earlier. Larry Johnson had decided to take the season off. When he decided to take back his regular spot on the Northwest for the big red season, I got bumped and fished on a different vessel. Larry saved my life.

  2. I have found a nautical compass With the markings-Observator – Rotterdam – Xr23241 and A8570.
    Upon searching for where it came from i matched A8570 to a report Incidents by County Reported during 1995 webpage stating:
    could this be the compass from December 1, 1995 Tongass i wonder?
    am I following a incorrect lead?

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