Coast Guard, Unalaska Police Investigate Fatal Accident At Sea

The Coast Guard and Unalaska police are investigating a fatal accident that took place aboard a 376-foot factory trawler this week.

Police chief Jamie Sunderland says crew members on the Alaska Ocean were doing some repair jobs at about 9 p.m. on Tuesday night.

“It looks like an acetylene tank was leaking inside of a cabinet, which was ignited by some nearby welding,” Sunderland said.

The resulting explosion blew a door off its hinges. It struck one of the crew members – 48-year-old Franz Dalquen of Arizona.

“He was pronounced dead just a few minutes later – about a half hour later – by the medic on the vessel.” Sunderland said.

Sunderland says the Alaska Ocean was about 125 miles outside Unalaska at the time of the accident. The vessel made it back to port Wednesday night, where they were met by Unalaska police.

Sunderland says the police have already ruled out foul play. But the medical examiner in Anchorage will still perform an autopsy.

The Alaska Ocean is owned by Glacier Fish Company of Seattle.

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