Kipnuk Man Dies Aboard Fishing Vessel in Fire at Egegik

Jul 5, 2013

A Kipnuk man has died from a fire on a fishing boat docked in Egegik. Troopers report that responders found the body believed to be 56 year old Harberg Paul very early Thursday morning.
Beth Ipsen is a spokesperson for the troopers:

"At 3:15 a.m., some other fisherman saw smoke coming out of the vessel, at 3:30 a.m. they saw flames coming out of the boat. Some first responders, including people from other boats and the cannery managed to pull Joe Paul and Paul Paul out of the boat , but unfortunately there was another brother that perished in the fire," said Ibsen.

The body believed to be Harberg Paul was pulled from the boat around 430 a.m. and he was pronounced dead in Egegik. The three brothers are fisherman from Kipnuk.

"Joe and Paul were flown out of Egegik for treatment for burns.  Unfortunately Harberg was pronounced deceased at the Egegik Clinic.  His body has been flown to Anchorage for an autopsy.  Some of the burns Joe and Paul suffered were from when they tried to get back into the boat to get their brother," said Ibsen.

The Pauline 2, a 32 foot gillnetter was moored at the AGS Seafoods dock. First responders of nearby fisherman and cannery workers put out the fire and kept the flames from spreading.

"They were instrumental in preventing flames from spreading to other boats moored next to the Pauline II," said Ibsen.

Due to bad weather, state troopers were unable to respond. Instead, an a wildlife trooper that was in the area for commercial fisheries enforcement traveled by skiff to the Egegik to start the investigation. 

A Deputy Fire Marshal flew from in Anchorage to the village to conduct an investigation into the cause of the fire. Foul play is not suspected.