Video: Alaskan Fishing Wars – Incident Video Shows Violent Collision Between Competing Fishing Boats
Screengrab of video taken aboard the F/V Temptation shows the moment before the crash.
May 2, 2018 by Mike Schuler
The skipper of an Alaskan salmon seiner is facing felony charges after she allegedly rammed a competitor’s boat in a battle over a school of fish up in Prince William Sound.
The incident took place in August 2016 and left one person seriously injured.
A view of the collision was captured on video by a stern-facing camera mounted on the boat that took the hit, named Temptation.
In the video, the Temptation appears to be vying for position when it was hit by two boats nearly simultaneously, one on the starboard side towards the stern and the port side amidships. One crew member on the deck of the Temptation suffered a head injury when he was hit by falling deck equipment.
After the collision, both sides can be heard arguing with other over who was at fault. Check it out below:
The skipper facing the charges is Alaskan-native and former pro skier, Kami Cabana, who was commanding the 58-foot F/V Chugach Pearl, which is the vessel that can be seen colliding with the Temptation from the port side. Making matters even more interesting, Kami is also a member of the Cabana family, a well-known and very successful salmon fishing family up in Alaska.
For good reason, the incident has gained quite a bit of attention among Alaska’s fishing communities.
In addition to felony charges, Cabana also faced a civil lawsuit which was reportedly settled out of court.
Her criminal case has received several continuances, but now it seems like Cabana may get off with merely a slap on the wrist. After a pre-trial hearing last week, Alicia Long, the wife of the Temptation’s skipper, Jason Long, posted this on her Facebook page:
“Just listened in on Kami Cabana’s pre-trial conference. They expected to have a deal with 120 hours of community service and a 2 hour coast guard course. Another continuance until June 12th. If you have a problem with this. Or the deal they tried to make with the state call Judge Schally in Valdez and Aaron Peterson in Anchorage at the DA office. June will find the Cabanas fishing, is the fleet ok with her getting off so easy?? Fucking bullshit. Ram away guys, hurt whomever you want, there will be no penalty in the eyes of the State.”
It should be noted that Long, who was the skipper of the Temptation at the time, was fined $1,300 after the U.S. Coast Guard found that he failed to avoid crossing in front of the other vessels prior to the collision. The Cordova Times has more on that part of the story:
The Coast Guard found that on Aug. 16, 2016 that Long observed a school of salmon in Hidden Bay and when an opening of about 150 feet occurred between the F/V Chugach Pearl and another vessel, the F/V Silver Steak, he maneuvered the F/V Temptation to pass between the two vessels before the gap closed. The other two vessels were standing still at the time, with the F/V Chugach Pearl off to the port side and the F/V Silver Streak to the starboard side of the F/V Temptation.
According to video introduced into evidence, the F/V Temptation dramatically increased its speed about 12 seconds before the collision with the F/V Chugach Pearl and the F/V Silver Streak, the Coast Guard hearing officer noted.
The fact that the F/V Silver Streak and F/V Chugach Pearl both inappropriately ‘throttled up in a pinching maneuver’ in an effort to block the F/V Temptation from getting into the bay was not disputed and captains of both of those vessels were found culpable in the collision, but those actions did not absolve Long in his responsibility to follow navigation rules that may have prevented the collision, the hearing officer said.
In fact, at no time during the 12 seconds before the collision did the F/V Temptation further increase or decrease its speed to avoid a potential collision, the Coast Guard said. Read more…