Looking out on the tranquil Charleston harbor this morning it's hard to imagine the catastrophic tragedy that occurred early yesterday off the coast of Alaska.
Reports from CNN and others provide conflicting details, and few facts. What is known is that during the pre dawn hours Sunday the commercial fishing vessel Alaska Ranger with a crew of 47, sank abut 120 miles west of the remote port of Dutch Harbor. Forty two of the crew were rescued, and the bodies of four crewmen were recovered with one crew member still missing.
Sources identified those killed as ship's captain Eric Peter Jacobsen, chief engineer Daniel Cook, mate David Silveira and crewman Byron Carrillo.
The crew of the 184-foot Alaska Ranger, contacted the Coast Guard at 2:50 AM Sunday to report they had lost control of their rudder and that the vessel was rapidly taking on water. The entire 47-member crew is believed to have put on survival suits and abandoned the ship, according to the US Coast Guard in Dutch Harbor.
Transcript of Alaska Ranger mayday call.
More Coverage at: ABC News
Once only known to boat captains who made their living fishing for Alaskan King Crab Dutch Harbor has become synonymous with the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" hosted by Mike Rowe.
The series has gained national acclaim and a large following due in part to the dangerous waters and courageous crews that work the Opilio and King Crab seasons off the Alaskan Coast.
Known as the most hazardous occupation in the country, commercial fishing claimed the lives of 641 commercial fisherman between 1994 and 2004. Each year, an average of 127 vessels are lost.
The tragic events aboard Alaska Ranger yesterday are a grim reminder of the risks that those who go down to the sea in ships take everyday.
A reminder that even in the clam waters of Charleston Harbor all boaters need to be careful, knowledgeable and always prepared for an emergency.
An unoccupied lone life raft from the Alaska Ranger adrift. Photo Credit: US Coast Guard - Kodiak
To add unexpected twist to the above statement Coast Guard Sector Charleston issued the following press release today.
Coast Guard Member Injured During Boarding
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A Coast Guard member was injured today during a vessel of interest boarding of a 793-foot container ship 12-miles east of Charleston at 10 a.m.
Ensign Rachael Perrot, 23, is assigned to Coast Guard Sector Charleston in the enforcement division and was boarding the merchant vessel Kamari when she lost her footing and fell 12-feet from a rope ladder.
Perrot was immediately picked up by a Coast Guard small boat. She was then transported by a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Facility Charleston to the Medical University of South Carolina for a head injury she sustained during the fall.
Perrot has been treated and released. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident. The seas were four to six-feet with winds of 20 knots at the time of the boarding.