The Ocean Challenger

From Oct. 18, 2006 

Alaska Fishing Boat Ocean Challenger Sinks, 1 Survivor found, 2 Dead and 1 still missing
The 58-foot commercial fishing Ocean Challenger capsized Wednesday in the stormy Pacific Ocean, 90 miles south of Sand Point, Alaska. Four were on board the fishing boat. Moments before the boat capsized, the fishermen launched a life raft, but none of them were able to get in it, overtaken by waves two stories high.

The Ocean Challenger was a longliner and home-ported out of Adak, Alaska. The Ocean Challenger had been fishing for black cod near the Sanak Islands and was traveling back to the Aleutian fishing town of Sand Point when it disappeared into the water.

The survivor, 28-year-old Kevin Ferrell, was the only person wearing a survival suit, the Coast Guard said. The two other men, skipper David “Cowboy” Hasselquist of Hoonah, Alaska and Walter Foster of Westport, Washington, were dead when pulled from the water by a rescue swimmer. The missing man, a 26-year-old Kodiak fisherman, was reportedly not wearing a survival suit, the Coast Guard said

The Coast Guard reported 25-knot winds, 20-foot waves and 48 degrees. The National Weather Service said the water temperature was also about 45 degrees.

The first helicopter, a Jayhawk, arrived about an hour after the distress call. The Coast Guard sent a helicopter, a C-130 airplane and the Coast Guard cutter Munro to the location of the capsized Ocean Challenger. Ferrell was taken to the Cold Bay Clinic in Alaska, about 50 miles away, then to an Anchorage hospital.

The cause of the capsizing is unknown at this time.

Source: Coast Guard Reports, Anchorage Daily News & Seattle Post-Intelligencer

This entry was posted in Deadliest Catch 2, Lost Fishing Vessels. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Ocean Challenger

  1. Meghan Hause says:

    That is so sad, and when I read about it in Oct 18, it reminded me of the sinking of the Big Valley. But it also shows you that Fish and Game can control how these can, what they fish for, and how much can fish for, but the one thing that they can’t control is the seas. That if the seas want your boat, it will take it.

  2. opilia says:

    I agree…especially the Bering sea

  3. thats sad i here about how dangerous it is all the time and its sad to loose a love one i have been thinking about going to a fioshing vessel

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  5. Marie says:

    The waves were reported at 2-3 “stories”, so we’re talking about something like 30-45 foot seas. One of those hits you just the right way, and there are lots of good (meaning bad), ways for such huge waves to hit a boat, they can and do take even the largest F/V down. Nothing you can do but try to get that survival suit on and get into the life raft. The only guy who got pulled out alive was the only crew member who managed to get his suit on but not into the raft. From what he said they had very little time, the cappy was screaming at everyone to get into their suits and the raft got away from them. That’s why commercial fishing continues to be listed as the most dangerous profession, because it truly is. I sometimes feel guilty when I order crab for dinner at a restaurant because I know what these guys (and sometimes girls) go through to get that stinking crab to my plate. Gotta wonder if it’s worth even one life, but they all choose to continue to do it knowing the risks, so what can you say. Not sure it mitigates my guilt at eating what they risk life and limb to catch, but it should give all of us something to think about the next time we order a dinner entre that comes out of the ocean.

  6. Walter Vu says:

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