One man dead, another hurt in fishing boat accidents

Michelle Theriault Boots

A 47-year-old man working on a trawler in the Bering Sea was the second to be struck in the head and injured by on-board cables in separate incidents involving major commercial fishing vessels in the past week.

The first victim died on March 1.

At about 9:30 a.m. on Monday, the Coast Guard responded to a report from the F/V Alaska Ocean, a 376-foot trawler owned by the Glacier Fish Co. of Seattle, said Petty Officer Sean Terry.

A crew member on the boat, Franz Dalquen, had been hit in the head by a cable and lost consciousness for about five minutes. His head was severely swollen and he was disoriented, Terry said.

Coast Guard helicopters retrieved Dalquen and evacuated him to Cold Bay. A LifeMed helicopter then took him to Anchorage, where he continues to receive medical treatment, Terry said.

Andrew "Drew" Fotu of Seattle, 25, died March 1 after being struck in the head by a snapped cable on the F/V Alaska Juris.

Initially, he bled from the mouth and showed weak vital signs. Coast Guard helicopters responded and a rescue swimmer came onboard the boat, only to determine Fotu had died. His body was taken to Unalaska.

The 255-foot trawler Alaska Juris, which was 225 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor at the time of the incident, is owned by the Fishing Co. of Alaska.

The Seattle-based Fishing Co. of Alaska owned the Alaska Ranger, which sank in 2008, killing five of the 47 onboard.

Both cases over the last week are being investigated by the Coast Guard.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at or 257-4344.

Anchorage Daily News