A 55-year-old Kodiak resident died last week aboard a fishing vessel during a transfer operation in the Bering Sea, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Alaska State Troopers said in an online dispatch that they learned Wednesday of Christopher O’Callaghan’s death aboard the 95-foot F/V Ocean Hunter.

“O’Callaghan was on the deck while the vessel was tied off to another vessel in the open sea, transferring fish,” troopers wrote. “A slack line suddenly went taut, striking O’Callaghan on the chest, causing bruising and internal injuries, resulting in his death. The incident was witnessed by several crewmembers.”

According to Alaska Weathervane Scallops, the Ocean Hunter is one of three vessels in its fleet, all home-ported in Kodiak. The vessel also fishes the Bering for for Pacific cod.

O’Callaghan’s next of kin have been notified, troopers said. His body was taken to Dutch Harbor and then to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage at relatives’ request.

Ocean Hunter crewmember Jim Stone released this statement:

We are deeply saddened by the death of Christopher O’Callaghan (“Cali” as we call him).  He was a good crewmember and good man who will be deeply missed by his loved ones, friends, family and shipmates.

Out of respect for his loved ones we will not make public comment on the circumstances of his death which is the subject of a Coast Guard investigation.  

Our hearts also go out to the other crewmembers who were involved in efforts to save Christopher. 

Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer 1st Class Charly Hengen confirmed Wednesday that the incident was under investigation, but had no further details available on the circumstances of O'Callaghan's death.

"Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time," Hengen said.

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