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Survivors interviewed as search continues

Wesley LoyPetroleum News
U. S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer Petty Officer Dave Coats, center, describes his experiences in the water during rescue efforts in the sinking of the F/V Katmai during a press conference Friday afternoon Oct. 24, 2008 at Kulis Air National Guard Base. Flanking him are helicopter pilot Lt. Zach Koehler, left, and mission coordinator Lt. Mike Woodrum, right.

The four survivors from the apparent sinking of the commercial fishing vessel Katmai are in Anchorage today giving statements to investigators, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

Meantime, an extensive air and sea search continues in remote Aleutian waters west of Adak Island, the Coast Guard said.

Two of the 11-man crew remain missing, while five bodies have been recovered from the frigid seas.

The 93-foot Katmai encountered trouble early Wednesday, and the crew ended up in the water. The boat, which had been en route to Dutch Harbor with a load of Pacific cod, hasn't been located.

The Coast Guard has a C-130 search plane, a helicopter and the cutter Acushnet on the scene looking for the remaining two crewmen.

Meantime, the four survivors who were plucked from a life raft are at an undisclosed location in Anchorage today for interviews with investigators, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Francis.

The investigators are taking the crewmen's initial statements on their ordeal, she said.

The survivors include two men from Anchorage, Guy Schroder and Harold Appling, according to the Coast Guard. The others are the boat's captain, Henry Blake III of Massachusetts and Adam Foster of Shoreline, Wash.

The Coast Guard also is planning to hold an Anchorage news conference this afternoon to reveal more details about the rescue operation and perhaps the circumstances leading up to the Katmai's demise.

Return to adn.com today for updates to this story. See tomorrow's newspaper for full details.

Find Wesley Loy's commercial fishing blog online at adn.com/highliner or call 257-4590.


By WESLEY LOY