The Scandies Rose is a crab fishing boat that succumbed to icy, dangerous conditions on New Year’s Eve. Only two of the crew members survived.
Deadliest Catch‘s Wild Bill Wichrowski was close friends with two of the men who died on the Scandies Rose, and he recently opened up about the tragedy.
In an interview with We Are the Mighty, Wichrowski said, “It’s hard to drum all this up again, really… You lose friends. You lose family. And the part that sticks is that any time, it could be you.”
The Investigation Into the Scandies Rose Is Ongoing
After the boat issued a distress signal back on New Year’s Eve, the Coast Guard conducted a 20-hour search for survivors. Scott McCann, the Coast Guard’s public affairs officer for the 17th district, tells We Are the Mighty that the investigation into the Scandies Rose disaster is “ongoing” and could last “many months.”
The two survivors, according to People, were John Lawler and Dean Gribble Jr.. Both men were able to make it into a life raft before being located by a Coast Guard helicopter. They were found roughly five hours after the Scandies Rose sank.
A February 5 post in National Fisherman reveals that both the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the capsized boat. When Coast Guard took to the skies and sea in an attempt to find the vessel, winds were 45 knots with seas up to 20 feet.
Gribble tells the National Fisherman, “I just wish the other guys had made it. I feel bad that I’m here and they’re not.”
Gribble Jr. Uploaded a YouTube Video Describing the Tragedy
In a Youtube video, a section of which can be seen above, Dean Gribble Jr. described the last moments on board as the “worst possible conditions that included 20-foot seas, strong winds, and icing conditions.”
He added that the crew went from “sleeping to swimming in about ten minutes… Everyone was trying to get out… I just wish the other guys could have made it.”
In their efforts to rescue members of the Scandies Rose, the Coast Guard deployed aircraft out of Air Station Kodiak to an area near Sutwik Island off the Alaska Peninsula.
The five men lost at sea with the Scandies Rose were: Captain Gary Cobban Jr.; his son, David Cobban; Seth Rosseau-Gano; Arthur Ganacias; and Brock Rainey.
Mike Daily, a longtime friend of Brock Rainey, described his friend as a “vet who loved motorcycles and was always willing to reach out to others and lend a hand,” according to the Seattle Times.
In a statement, Rosseau-Gano’s family described him as having a “wild and free personality. He had a huge heart and was a bright light for so many.”
“He really loved the lifestyle. He would work real hard, save up his money and then go travel,” said Zed Blue, the boat’s owner and skipper, to the Seattle Times. “He was my main guy.”