Naknek fleet, fishermen blessed at annual gathering Saturday

Jun 19, 2017

Over 20 years the Naknek Blessing of the Fleet has provided over 700 life jackets to the community.
Credit Caitlin Tan / KDLG

The 20th Blessing of the Fleet took place in Naknek on Saturday. Pastor George Steinburg, from Hilltop Christian Fellowship, prayed over the fishery and all the captains and crew in Bristol Bay.

About 50 people showed up for the blessing. It not only served as a community get together, but also an awareness for water safety.

Fred Anderson, founder and organizer of the event, said he has given out over 700 lifejackets and 1,500 water safety devices.

“It think it’s important to practice water safety – we’re a fishing community,” he said. “We should be practicing water safety – it’s a no brainer.”

Life jackets, other nautical supplies and food were donated by local businesses and processors. There was even a fresh Bristol Bay salmon at the dinner table.

People of all ages came to the Blessing of the Fleet. Dinner was provided with fresh salmon.
Credit Caitlin Tan / KDLG

Naknek Elder Mary Louise Asplund has been attending the blessing ever since it started. She has been fishing for 63 years and at 83 years old she still set net fishes.

“Well it’s important to get everyone together,” she said. “A lot of people have different ideas. Some have problems, and there’s always someone there to console them. It’s just a good thing.”

The crowd also sang happy birthday for the assumed birthdays of skippers and crew this summer.

Door prizes, including donated life jackets, were given out to raffle ticket winners.
Credit Caitlin Tan / KDLG