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Skipper dies after fishing boat sinks; 2 rescued, 1 missing

Mary Pemberton

The skipper of a Kodiak-based fishing vessel died Friday after the boat sank, authorities said. One crew member was missing and two others were recovering from hypothermia.

Four helicopter searches failed to find the crewman missing from the 58-foot Advantage, Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis said. An airplane continued the search.

As first reported by KMXT-FM, a Coast Guard helicopter went looking for the vessel shortly after midnight Thursday when an emergency locator beacon signal was received.

Skipper Leif Bolan and two crewmembers were rescued from a life raft and taken to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center. Providence Health and Services Alaska spokeswoman Crystal Bailey confirmed that Bolan had died.

None of those rescued was wearing a survival suit, Francis said.

The Advantage went down about 15 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.

By the time the helicopter arrived on scene, the vessel had already sunk and only a debris field remained.

"It looks like it sank fairly quickly," Francis said.

At the time, the National Weather Service was forecasting 8-foot seas in the area.

Francis said it is too early to know why the fishing boat sank.


By MARY PEMBERTON
Associated Press