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Chemical Leak Claims Life Of Cody Cecil Aboard F/V ALPINE COVE - Kodiak, Alaska

Apparently, the crew was asleep during a chemical leak, possibly of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) from the vessel refrigeration system. According to reports, one of the crew on board F/V ALPINE COVE smelled something strange as they lay moored in St. Herman's Harbor, one of the marinas located at Near Island in Kodiak, Alaska. He called for help as he woke his crew mates.

The Coast Guard and Kodiak Police Department are now investigating the death of a 30-year-old Cody Cecil, of Everett, Washington. Four other crew members were evacuated and much of the harbor had to be cleared. One man, Francis Rutten of Snohomish, Washington, had to remain in the hospital for further treatment. The investigation includes looking into any potential connection with some welding work had been done on the vessel hours earlier.

Most people recognize Freon as the name for CFCs; it's the trade name DuPont uses for its brand. One of the more common CFCs in use is dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12). CFCs are used in many fishing vessel refrigeration systems. Because of CFCs are linked to ozone depletion, they are strictly regulated and are being phased out of use. CFCs displace oxygen in addition to being intrinsically toxic. Exposure at only 11% can result in nausea, difficulty breathing, heart arrhythmia, dizziness, and numerous neurological problems. This is not the first time chemical exposure on board a fishing vessel has resulted in needless tragedy.

F/V ALPINE COVE is a 76-foot vessel, built in 2001, owned by Alpine Cove Fisheries, LLC, of Woodinville, Washington.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Cody Cecil. We wish Francis Rutten and anyone else injured a swift and complete recovery.

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