A refrigeration leak aboard a fishing vessel in St. Herman Harbor left one fisherman hospitalized and another dead on Wednesday.
The Kodiak Police Department and fire and rescue personnel responded to a report of the Freon leak aboard the boat Alpine Cove. Freon is a caustic chemical used to keep refrigeration systems cold on boats and also in some air conditioning systems in cars.
A press release from the police department said five crewmembers were evacuated from the boat and officers provided immediate medical attention until EMS personnel arrived. Two crewmembers were ultimately transported to the hospital where 30-year-old Cody Cecil of Everett, Wash., was pronounced dead.
The other crewmember, 56-year-old Francis Rutten of Snohomish, Wash., is still being treated at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center for exposure to Freon.
Nearby vessels were evacuated yesterday by harbormaster staff as a precaution to the chemical release.
A preliminary investigation revealed that repair work was being done to the Alpine Cove on Tuesday night, but it is unclear if that work is related to the Freon leak. The incident is still under investigation by the police department and the Marine Safety Detachment of the U.S. Coast Guard.