A man from Kellogg is among five crew members presumed dead after a crab fishing boat sank off the coast of Alaska on New Year’s Eve.
Three men from Washington, two of them believed to be dead, were also aboard the vessel when it went down, the Seattle Times reported.
The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for the five crew members of the Scandies Rose late Wednesday, saying it had exhausted all leads and considered the chances for survival slim. Two other members of the 130-foot vessel from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, were rescued. The ship’s last known position was 170 miles southwest of Kodiak Island.
Before authorities released the names of the crew members, Ashley Boggs, of Peru, Indiana, told the Associated Press she was due to marry Scandies Rose crew member Brock Rainey, a Kellogg native, after he returned from Alaska.
Boggs said she received a call from Rainey on New Year’s Eve saying conditions were bad. Then the Coast Guard informed her it had called off the search.
Boggs said Thursday that she hadn’t given up hope.
“I’m just praying and hoping they find him on land or something,” she said in a phone interview. “I really felt like he was alive.”
The Coast Guard later released the names of the other missing crew members, which included skipper Gary Cobban Jr. and his son David Lee Cobban, both from Kodiak, the Seattle Times reported. The other two missing, Arthur Ganacias and Seth Rousseau-Gano, are from Washington.
The Seattle Times reported the two survivors, John Lawler and Dean Gribble Jr., are from Alaska and Washington.
It does not appear any of the Washington men were from Eastern Washington.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Matthew Bell said in a statement late Wednesday evening: “The decision to suspend an active search and rescue case is never easy, and it’s only made after careful consideration of a myriad of factors. Our deepest condolences to the friends and families impacted by this tragedy.”
The Scandies Rose was carrying a load of crabbing pots for the start of the winter season, Dan Mattsen, a partner in the boat that is managed by Seattle-based Mattsen Management, told the Seattle Times.
The Coast Guard said the search for the five crew members lasted 20 hours and included four Jayhawk helicopters, two airplanes and a Coast Guard cutter.
Gerry Cobban Knagin, whose brother was the skipper on the Scandies Rose, said on Facebook that he and his son, David, were also on board.
Knagin of Kodiak, Alaska, told KTVA-TV that her brother and his son were not among the people who had been rescued. She said she hoped he was “on one of the little Islands waiting for us!”
“We, the Cobban Family, extend our thanks and gratitude to all the Coast Guard men and women involved with the search and rescue of crew members on the F/V Scandies Rose,” she said on her Facebook page. “The horrendous weather made for an extremely tough search. A special Thank You goes out to the men answering my many questions and phone calls.”
The Scandies Rose sank at approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday with seven crew members aboard, the Coast Guard said. It received a mayday distress call and immediately commenced a rescue operation.
The rescue crews battled headwinds up to 60 mph and nearly no visibility when they arrived on scene about 2 a.m. Wednesday.
A faint light was seen in one life raft, but a medic lowered from a helicopter found it empty, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Another faint light was found about a half-mile away, where searchers found the two male survivors, ages 38 and 34, hypothermic but otherwise in good spirits.
The men told rescuers they were the only two who made it into a life raft. While they were able to get into survivals suits, they didn’t know if the other five were able to do so, the newspaper reported.
The Associated Press and Spokesman-Review reporters Chad Sokol and Jared Brown contributed to this report.