1 dead, 1 hospitalized after chemical leak on Kodiak fishing boat

Michelle Theriault Boots

One person died and another was hospitalized after a chemical leak on a fishing boat at a Kodiak harbor Wednesday.

The Kodiak Police Department responded on Wednesday to a report of a refrigeration leak aboard the fishing vessel Alpine Cove, which was at the St. Herman Harbor on Near Island. Emergency responders treated crew members on the scene, Kodiak police said in a news release.

“A member of the crew contacted emergency services to let them know that he’d woken up and smelled something strange,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Shawn Eggert said Wednesday. “He went to wake his buddies up aboard the boat to get them off.”

Cody Cecil, 30, of Everett, Wash., was pronounced dead at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center.

Another crew member, Francis Rutten, 56, of Snohomish, Wash., is being treated for Freon gas exposure at the same hospital.

He seems to be recovering, Eggert said.

In all, five crew members were evacuated from the vessel.

“Harbormaster personnel evacuated nearby vessels as a precaution due to the caustic nature of the chemicals involved,” the release said.

Coast Guard investigators weren’t able to board the boat Wednesday because of continuing safety concerns.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.