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Fire destroys fishing tender near Togiak

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Photo courtesy of Ed Wilbur
The fire that engulfed the tender the Kulukak Bay is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard

The tender Kulukuk Bay caught fire early Sunday July 24 near Togiak and was engulfed in flames. Two passengers were on board abandoned ship and were picked up by a good Samaritan vessel.

The tender Kulukuk Bay caught fire and was engulfed in flames near Togiak early Sunday morning July 24.

U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Rachel Burchill said two passengers were on board at the time of the fire. They abandoned ship, and the pair were picked up by a Good Samaritan vessel and taken to Togiak.

Burchill said that while the initial report stated that four passengers were involved, only two passengers were on board. No injuries were reported. She said the Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the fire.

“We’re still in the start of the investigation to determine what the cause of the fire was," Burchill said. "It's more of a fact-finding investigation it's not criminal in any way. To determine what went wrong and how we can prevent it in the future."

Burchill said they did not have any additional information about the passengers or the state of the vessel at this time. She said the results of the investigation are due out in a month or two.

(Correction: The US Coast Guard incorrectly stated the two passengers were taken to Peter Pan Seafoods in Togiak. There is no Peter Pan facility in the community.)

Contact the news team at news@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.

Corinne Smith is a reporter and producer who grew up in Oakland, California and on her family’s horse ranch in rural San Rafael, CA, a contrast that nurtured a deep appreciation for the complexities of identity and belonging, and connection to place, land and the natural world. She began her reporting career at KPFA in Berkeley, first as a general assignment reporter and then as lead producer of UpFront, a daily morning news and public affairs show. In 2020, she served as the summer reporter for KFSK in Petersburg where she first got hooked on Alaska stories. For the last year, she's been a general assignment reporter for KHNS based in Haines, and thrilled to experience a new part of Alaska and cover the Bristol Bay fishing season this summer with KDLG!