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Alaska News

Kodiak fisherman killed in accident on trawler in Bering Sea

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: May 10, 2018
  • Published May 9, 2018

A 55-year-old Kodiak man died in a commercial fishing accident at sea last week, authorities said.

Christopher O'Callaghan was working May 2 on the deck of the 95-foot F/V Ocean Hunter when a slack line suddenly went taut and struck him in the chest, Alaska State Troopers said. The vessel was tied off to another, transferring fish in the Bering Sea.

Bruising and internal injuries caused O'Callaghan's death, troopers said in an online dispatch Tuesday. Several crew members witnessed the accident.

O'Callaghan's body was transported to Dutch Harbor and then to the State Medical Examiner Office at the request of O'Callaghan's next of kin, troopers said.

O'Callaghan worked in a notoriously dangerous industry. Nearly 180 people died in Alaska fisheries from 2000 to 2014, according to a report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Forty-five people died between 2010 and 2014, a third of them in disasters like sinkings or other events that force crews to abandon ship, the report says. Drowning after falling overboard was the second leading cause of death.

Four died from accidents involving gear, like the one troopers said killed O'Callaghan.

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