Scandies Rose survivor: 'I just wish the other guys would have made it'
For the first time, a survivor of the Scandies Rose crab fishing boat that sank earlier this week near Sutwik Island in the Gulf of Alaska is speaking out.
In a YouTube video that has since been made private, crew member Dean Gribble Jr. said the boat started listing "really hard" and things happened quickly after that.
"From sleeping to swimming, it was about 10 minutes. It happened really fast. Everybody was trying to get out. Everybody was doing everything they could," he said.
The Scandies Rose put out a mayday call that it was taking on water on New Year's Eve after leaving from Kodiak. The Coast Guard believes the boat went down around 10 p.m., which was around the time of the call.
Gribble and crewman John Lawler ended up in a life raft with their survival suits on. They were picked up by a Coast Guard helicopter crew around 2 a.m. Wednesday.
The other five crew members could not be found and the search for them has been called off.
In the video, Gribble said there were 20-foot seas, strong winds and icy conditions.
"Worst possible conditions. I've fished for 20 years; I know you do not make it. Everybody dies in those situations and I knew that that's what we were going into," he said.
Gribble expressed guilt.
"I just wish the other guys would have made it. Kind of feel bad now that I'm here and they're not," he said.
Gribble also talked about what he said were some safety equipment problems on the boat.
"Our EPIRB didn't go off, so that sucked," he said. "A lot of the safety equipment was s--- too. So, a lot of issues with that."
EPIRB stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. The device is used to alert search and rescue crews in an emergency. Some devices automatically go off when they're submerged in water and some give an exact location.
Gerry Cobban Knagin, the sister of the boat's missing captain, said Friday that at least one crewman told her the EPIRB was checked and found to be working before the boat left Kodiak.
Knagin recalled one occasion when the EPIRB went off while the crew was at sea. She became concerned and thought the boat was in trouble, but said the crew was fine and the EPIRB malfunctioned.
Marine investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board from the Lower 48 will investigate the sinking of the Scandies Rose, along with the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will be the lead agency.
KTVA asked the NTSB and Coast Guard about the safety issues Gribble mentioned in the YouTube video. Eric Weiss, with NTSB Media Relations in Washington D.C., said that will be part of the investigation.
Coast Guard spokesperson Melissa McKenzie said its investigators will also look at the safety issues Gribble mentioned. McKenzie said investigators have already interviewed Gribble and Lawler.
In the YouTube video, Gribble asked people to "send some love" to the families of the men who were not rescued.
The Coast Guard identifies the missing as boat captain Gary Cobban Jr., his son David Cobban, as well as crew members Arthur Ganacias, Brock Rainey and Seth Rousseau-Gano.
The Coast Guard has not said why the ship went down.
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