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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 10:55 a.m., Wednesday, April 4, 2001



Hilo man on last trip when fishing vessel vanished

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska The only crew member whose body has been recovered after a fishing vessel sank in the Bering Sea had planned to switch jobs after the voyage to spend more time with his family, his father said.

"This was going to be his last trip," David Rundall Sr. of Seattle told The Herald of Everett, Wash. "It's devastating."

The body of his son, David M. Rundall, 34, of Hilo, Hawai'i, the vessel's skipper, was recovered by the Coast Guard Monday after the 92-foot vessel went down about 775 miles southwest of Anchorage with 15 crew members aboard.

The younger Rundall was married and had three sons, ages 4, 12 and 14. He had been a skipper for six years and had lined up work on a tanker, a job that would have allowed more time at home, his father said. The skipper's grandfather died in 1962 after falling from an Alaska ferry.

Hope for finding other crew members was fading as Coast Guard officials tried to determine why the Arctic Rose sank so fast the crew had no time to radio for help. It was one of the worst commercial fishing disasters in Alaska in 20 years.

Officials planned to widen their search today, even as weather conditions worsened in the area.

"We've been spotting debris the whole time, but nothing promising," said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Jim Barker.

The first and only sign of trouble was a signal from the vessel's automatic emergency locator beacon at 3:30 a.m. Monday.

Yesterday, winds gusting to 50 knots forced a sister ship, the Alaskan Rose, to leave the search area and prevented the use of a Coast Guard helicopter.

The vessel was operated by Arctic Sole Seafoods Inc. of Lynnwood, Wash. One of the missing crew members was Mike Olney, the ship's engineer and brother of company owner David Olney.

Nine of the crew members were from Washington, two were from Montana and four others were from Minnesota, Texas, Hawai'i and California.