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Fishing boat sent an e-mail before sinking; 2 still sought

October 24, 2008|Associated Press

ANCHORAGE — An e-mail from a doomed fishing boat to a nearby vessel said it was taking on water in the rear, where the steering was housed, the Coast Guard said Thursday as it searched for two crew members.

The Katmai sank early Wednesday in the icy waters off Alaska's Aleutian Islands with a crew of 11 aboard.

Four survived in a life raft, and the bodies of five have been recovered.

"We are devastated by what has happened," said Jeff DeBell, chief financial officer of Katmai Fisheries Inc., which owned the boat. "We are just terribly saddened by the ones that are dead and are praying that those that are still in the water are alive."

The Seattle-based company identified the survivors as Capt. Henry Blake III and crew members Guy Schroeder, Adam Foster and Harold Appling.

All crew members had donned survival suits, according to another fishing vessel in the area that received the e-mail, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Levi Read. Survival suits let people live longer in cold water.

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