Kodiak Daily Mirror - Freon leak kills Kodiak crewmember
Freon leak kills Kodiak crewmember
by Julie Herrmann
Jun 05, 2014 | 326 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A police line restricts access to the Alpine Cove, where one man died from a refrigeration leak, on Wednesday, June 4. Julie Herrmann photo
A police line restricts access to the Alpine Cove, where one man died from a refrigeration leak, on Wednesday, June 4. Julie Herrmann photo
A crewmember on the F/V Alpine Cove died early Wednesday morning from a leak of the refrigerant Freon.

Police identified the man as 30-year-old Cody Cecil of Everett, Washington. He was taken to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center along with another man, 56-year-old Francis Rutten of Snohomish, Washington.

“Rutten is currently being treated for exposure to Freon,” a Kodiak Police Department press release said.

The boat was tied up off the third ramp at St. Herman Harbor, also known as Dog Bay, on Near Island.

EMS personnel responded around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to several observers on the docks. At least four emergency vehicles were still at the docks at 1 p.m. that day.

Access to the Alpine Cove was restricted with yellow police tape and a large fan was situated at the entrance to the boat, likely to circulate air through the boat to clear out the chemicals.

Jose Garcia, the chief on the Lady Alaska, a boat tied up nearby, reported that an Alpine Cove crewmember gave this version of the event:

“He said he woke up, and his roommate on the bottom bunk was yelling in his sleep and vomiting on the floor,” he said.

“He went to the deck boss and said something’s wrong. The deck boss said he was probably just sick. They went back to bed and a couple hours later, tried to wake up these two guys and they weren’t responding. So they called 911 to get EMS,” added Garcia.

Freon is extremely deadly, so emergency personnel also evacuated several of the surrounding boats.

Freon is also four times heavier than air. When it gets into the air, it will sink and fill lower areas, which explains why a crewmember in a lower bunk could have died while one in an upper bunk did not.

“Preliminary investigation revealed repair work was being done on the F/V Alpine Cove the previous evening,” a police press release said. “It is undetermined if the repairs are related to the Freon leak.”

On fishing vessels, Freon is commonly used in a large refrigeration system that chills seawater in the fish hold to help preserve the catch.

The incident is still under investigation by police.

Contact Julie Herrmann at jherrmann@kodiakdailymirror.com

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