On Mar. 10, the F/V LADY CECILIA sank off the coast of Washington, resulting in the deaths of Chris Langel, 25, of Kaukauna, Wis., Luke Jensen, 22, of Ilwaco, Wash., Jason Bjaranson, 38, and Dave Nichols, 43, both of Warrenton, Ore. On Monday, we discussed the recent discovery of the wreckage. Today, we’d like to remember the victims.
Langel had just started working for Anchorage-based Saltwater, Inc. and was aboard the F/V LADY CECILIA to monitor the vessel’s catch. It was his first trip for the company. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2009 with a degree in biology, and was described by a former professor as fun-loving and enthusiastic.
Jensen, the youngest victim, was hired as a deckhand just hours before the F/V LADY CECILIA embarked on its final trip. His father describes him as having “always been nuts for fishing.” While still in high school, he worked as a deckhand aboard charter boats, and during college, he spent several summers fishing commercially in Bristol Bay, Alaska. A student at Humboldt State University majoring in freshwater fisheries, Jensen was taking a year off to work on a boat.
Bjaranson had practiced getting into his survival suit so many times that he was able to do it in 13 seconds flat. Recognizing the risks associated with fishing in the Pacific Ocean, he was reportedly thinking about finding a safer job on shore. He leaves behind his girlfriend, Amy Mallory, and their two-year-old son, Talon.
Nichols, skipper of the F/V LADY CECILIA, had followed in the fishing footsteps of his father and grandfather, passing on the legacy to his eldest son, David Nichols, Jr., who returned from an oceangoing fishing trip to attend his father’s memorial. According to The Daily Astorian, dockworker Dominic Kohlash described Nichols, a father of two, as “one of the best at consistently finding fish.”
Commercial fishing is a dangerous occupation, especially when fishing companies act negligently. If you have lost a loved one to a commercial fishing accident, visit our website to learn about your rights under maritime law, and fill out the contact form to request a free consultation with a Boston maritime attorney.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers