His family encouraged him to not go out on the boat until the morning, but even that did little to escape his fate.
Commercial fisherman George Reutov, 41, had left in his 38-foot fiberglass fishing boat from Kodiak, Alaska, bound for Afognak Island on Saturday morning with his deckhand, Ifrem Berestov, when the boat was rolled by a large wave, according to Anchorage Daily News.
The capsized boat spent the next two hours bobbing in the water as rescuers comprised of family and friends fought the heavy seas to reach them. Berestov was finally pulled from the boat after a hole was cut into the hull with a chain saw, according to the report.
The two fishermen were related by marriage and had spent the week commercial fishing for gray cod along with other members of their family. Reutov was looking forward to going back to the island to see his wife and eight children, who range from 1 to 17, according to his brother Greg.
“One big wave. This is what one wave can do,” said Greg in the report. “He was gonna take off the night earlier and we kinda talked him out of it, so he would go in the morning, in the daylight at least, and that’s when he took off.”
Reutov was pulled from the boat but had already died. Though a cause of death hasn’t been determined at this time, the family believes it might have been due to Freon, since witnesses reported smelling fuel from the boat.
“It looks like [the boat] hit a rock, pipes broke, and there was Freon. It’s dangerous stuff,” says Greg.
Berestov was taken to an Anchorage hospital.
— Elizabeth Ellis