4 Dead After Boat Starts Sinking Off Alaska

Fishing vessel doomed by high waves off Alaska coast
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2008 7:44 PM CDT
The Alaska Ranger is seen at a port in Dutch Harbor, Jan. 2006.   (AP Photo/Jim Paulin)

(Newser) – Four crew members of a Seattle-based fishing boat died today after the vessel sank amidst high seas off the Alaska coast, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Officials rescued 42 members, but a search continues for one missing staffer, according to the AP. The boat began sinking shortly before 3 a.m., when it lost control of its rudder 120 miles from Alaska’s Dutch Harbor.

Six- to 8-foot waves were reported this morning during the rescue efforts, and the crew admitted to being “overwhelmed by water,” CNN reports. The Coast Guard and the boat’s sister ship led the rescue efforts. The doomed vessel was transporting 100,000 gallons of diesel, and officials reported an oil sheen that covered a quarter mile by a half mile. (Read more Alaska stories.)