Fishing crewman falls overboard, dies near King Cove

Tegan Hanlon

A crew member on a commercial fishing vessel died Sunday after he fell overboard near King Cove, said Alaska State Troopers.

Rudy Dushkin Jr., 53, was pulling up the anchor on the 32-foot vessel Matt-Michelle when a large swell slammed into its side and flung Dushkin into the water. He was not wearing a life jacket. Bert Bendixen, the vessel’s captain, was the only other person on board, troopers said.

Bendixen radioed a distress call, troopers said.

Troopers and the U.S. Coast Guard offered different accounts of what happened once Dushkin fell overboard. 

The agencies said that once onshore, Bendixen and crew members from the fishing vessel Miss Roxanne, who responded to the distress call, tried to resuscitate Dushkin. They were unsuccessful.

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified of the death and contacted troopers at 10:12 a.m. Sunday. Neither agency responded to the scene, said Beth Ipsen, troopers spokeswoman.

By Monday evening, Dushkin's body was still in King Cove. Troopers said it will be flown to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for further investigation.

Correction: Due to incorrect information from Alaska State Troopers, this story initially incorrectly identified the captain of the vessel Matt-Michelle. The captain of the vessel is Bert Bendixen of Palmer.

Contact Tegan Hanlon at tegan@alaskadispatch.com.