Loved ones remember Scandies Rose crew feared dead

JUNEAU, Alaska —

Pictures are pouring in from the close-knit fishing community, giving us a look at the crew members on board the ill-fated Scandies Rose.

"When I heard the words that he had called in, and they were abandoning ship, I knew that it was bad and that I would probably never see him again,” said Gerry Cobban Knagin.

Gerry’s brother, Gary Cobban, Jr., and her nephew, David Leigh Cobban, are two of the five missing men who are presumed dead at sea.

“Gary Jr., he couldn’t see himself doing anything different,” she said.

Gary, 61, spent four decades working on the water.

His 30-year-old son, David, had been fishing with him for 15 years.

“He never worked anywhere else, he never did anything else. Fishing was his life, and he loved it, and he was happy out there,” said Gerry.

In all, seven men were on board the boat when it sank near Sutwik Island New Year’s Eve.

They were facing strong winds, high waves, and heavy freezing spray.

According to the Coast Guard, Gary, David, Arthur Ganacias, Brock Rainey, and Seth Rousseau-Gano are still missing.

Rescue crews braved the storm and saved Dean Gribble, Jr., and John Lawler, who were spotted on a life raft.

“They had 40 knot winds, 20 to 25 foot seas, freezing spray,” said Gerry. “It’s just incredible. I’m just so glad that they’re with us.”

Although her brother and nephew are feared dead, Gerry said she’s at peace knowing her family likely left this earth doing what they loved to do.

“My brother was incredibly knowledgeable about this trip that he made back and forth every year for many, many years from Kodiak to Dutch Harbor. He knew the weather patterns, he knew the current patterns, the ocean patterns,” said Gerry. “I know he would do absolutely everything to make that vessel safe. It is not up to those of us who are sitting back here to speculate on what was it that caused the demise of the Scandies Rose.”

The Coast Guard suspended its search Wednesday, which lasted more than 20 hours and spanned 1,400 square miles.

"The decision to suspend an active search and rescue case is never easy, and it’s only made after careful consideration of a myriad of factors,” said Rear Adm. Matthew Bell, 17th District Commander. “Our deepest condolences to the friends and families impacted by this tragedy.”

The Coast Guard hasn’t released details on what caused the boat to sink. They said talking to survivors is part of the investigation.

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