Sunken Alaskan boat nicknamed ‘Ranger Danger’
ANCHORAGE, Alaska ” The crew of the Alaska Ranger that sank off the Aleutian Islands believed the vessel was unsafe, and that their employer delayed making needed repairs, a survivor told ABC News.
The Alaska Ranger was in such disrepair its crew members had nicknamed it “the Ranger Danger,” 22-year-old Jeremy Freitag said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
According to ABC News, that claim was backed up by two other crew members who had previously served on the ship.
“There were a lot of problems onboard the ship that were constantly ignored,” Freitag said.
“They just wanted to fish,” said the Lebanon, Ore. native. “They didn’t care about the repairs…There was always an excuse.”
The Alaska Ranger sank Sunday. Four crew died and one is missing.
The boat is owned by Seattle-based company Fishing Company of Alaska. It has put
up Freitag and the rest of the ship’s survivors in the Grand Aleutian Hotel in Dutch Harbor.
The company has reportedly instructed the survivors not to talk to the media; Freitag confirmed that saying, “They really don’t want us talking, that it would be easier on them if we didn’t talk.”
It needed “pretty much everything you could think of,” Freitag said, and reeled off a list of places in the boat into which water would leak: the galley, the bathrooms, the laundry room and even the crew’s quarters. Pumps to empty the water from the ship did not function, he said.
Crew members have said the ship was a converted flat bottom boat originally used to service oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
The boat “rode rough,” said Freitag. “If you went from that boat to another one, you could tell the difference…it bounced around a lot.”
According to accounts, the ship began taking in water after losing control of its rudder. The ship reportedly sank in fifteen minutes.