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ALASKA RANGER DOCUMENTARY - MAYDAY, BERING SEA TO AIR ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL

The Discovery Channel will air a documentary tonight on the sinking of the Alaska fishing vessel the ALASKA RANGER. The ALASKA RANGER was owned by the Fishing Company of Alaska and sank on March 23, 2008 with 47 crewmen on board. Five crewmen perished in the frigid waters but the other 42 crewmen were miraculously saved by the United States Coast Guard. The surviving crewmen escaped what was near certain death from freezing waters and high seas. Many of the crewmen still have reoccurring nightmares of the sinking and the loss of their fellow crewmen.

Stacey & Jacobsen represented 13 of the surviving crewmen in claims against the ALASKA RANGER for unseaworthiness and Jones Act negligence. They also represented the family of Byron Carrillo, a crewman who nearly survived the accident before falling from the rescue helicopter. The freezing Alaskan waters had sucked the strength out of Carrillo before the Coast Guard helicopter arrived on the scene. Carrillo was in and out consciousness and his survival suit was filled with 50-100 pounds of freezing water. The high seas washed him in and out of the rescue basket that had been lowered by a cable from the helicopter. He was half in and half out of the rescue basket as he was hoisted to the helicopter. He slipped further out of the basket as it was raised closer to the helicopter's cabin. Because of the way Carrillo was positioned in the rescue basket, the crew of the helicopter could not get him in the helicopter's cabin. Slowly Carrillo lost his grip on the basket and fell back into the sea as the weight of the freezing sea water in his survival suit overcame his last bit of strength. Carrillo, who is deeply missed by his wife and children, had been a fisherman in Alaska just days before he meet his death. Like many others, Carrillo had decided to go fishing in Alaska with the hope of earning money to buy a new home for his wife and children who lived in one of the toughest sections of South Central Los Angeles. The Carrillo Estate settled their wrongful death case against the Fishing Company of Alaska on terms that are to remain confidential.

The United States Coast Guard Casualty Report into the cause of the sinking of the ALASKA RANGER has not yet been released.

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Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC
4039 21st Avenue West
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Seattle, WA 98199

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