Marine board hears testimony on sinking

Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A marine board has started taking testimony in the sinking of a fish processing boat in which only four members of the 11-man crew survived.

Capt. Henry Blake testified Monday about how the ship lost steering and then the engine room began to take on water.

He ordered the 10 other crew members to abandon ship just before the Katmai sank early Wednesday morning in the Aleutian Islands, about 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage.

He and six others made it to a life raft and fought the waves all night.

Blake said, "and then a big one came." That wave capsized the life boat. When it was righted, two of the men were gone. Blake wasn't sure what happened to the third man.

Five crew members were killed, and two others are presumed dead. The hearing is scheduled to resume today.

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