Four crew rescued as fire consumes F/V Skadi

The four crew members of the Skadi were safely evacuated before flames engulfed the boat. The Skadi caught fire in Orca Bay on Monday, July 1. Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

A salmon seiner homeported in Cordova engulfed in flames in Orca Inlet, roughly one nautical mile north of Cordova, on the afternoon of Monday, July 1. All of the F/V Skadi’s four crew were safely removed by two Good Samaritan vessels.

Fire aboard the F/V Skadi on July 1. Photo by Jared Kennedy/for The Cordova Times

The fire began around 1:40 p.m., according to onlookers. Within an hour, the white hull of the vessel was almost fully engulfed in flame. Rescue of the Skadi’s crew was carried out by the Starrallena, owned by Orca Adventure Lodge co-owner Steve Ranney, according to a Cordova Harbormaster’s Office spokesperson. The Journeyman, owned by Alan Kapp, assisted.

U.S. Coast Guard officials in Anchorage confirmed that all four crew were uninjured and that the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez had been notified regarding potential environmental pollution issues. Cause of the fire was not immediately determined.

The Skadi releases a plume of smoke across Orca Bay. The fishing vessel caught fire on Monday, July 1. Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

“I pulled in and parked at 1:32 p.m. and didn’t notice anything unusual,” said Cordova resident Kayrene Kimber. “I looked down at my phone to send a message and looked back up at 1:39 and saw the smoke. Within four minutes, the Orca Lodge boat ran over to them and, within eight, it looked like the cavalry was coming from the harbor.”

The Skadi is owned by Liam Corcoran and his father, Corky. Originally the Anna B., the vessel was renamed the Killin’ Time before receiving its third and final name, the Skadi. The 1980 Delta previously measured 48 feet. Boatbuilder Eric Sloth of Homer, had overhauled the vessel, outfitting it with new fiberglass and a new tophouse, on June 10.

Weather on scene was fairly mild, with temperatures in the mid-60s, Coast Guard officials said.

The Skadi burns in the waters near the Copper River Seafoods plant. The fishing vessel caught fire on Monday, July 1. Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Onlookers watch as the Skadi burns. The fishing vessel caught fire in Orca Bay on Monday, July 1. Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times.
Aerial of the F/V Skadi, which caught fire in Orca Bay on Monday, July 1, 2019. Photo Ashlan Prout/for The Cordova Times
Aerial of the F/V Skadi, which caught fire in Orca Bay on Monday, July 1, 2019. Photo Ashlan Prout/for The Cordova Times