Fisherman found dead on boat near Wrangell

Charles Richards

Charles Richards

A crew member on a fishing vessel west of Wrangell Island was found dead Saturday morning.

Charles Richards, 28, of Seattle was found unresponsive in his bunk by a crew member.

Wrangell Search and Rescue responded to the scene after the Coast Guard was notified about 5:47 am Saturday.

Richards was taken to the Wrangell Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

His body was transferred to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsy. The cause of death is not known.

Owner of the Odin, Mark Severson, said his son, Cameron, recently took over operating the boat.

“I just did my stint and my son had taken over for me. And, that was their first outing without me,” Severson said

Richards, who went by Rhett, went to college with Severson’s son.

“That’s how he came to get on the boat. I needed a guy, and he filled in. He was a great hard worker and a happy go-lucky kid,” Severson said.

The vessel was southwest of Wrangell in Anita Bay when the call came in.

“One of the guys came down when Cameron was starting up the machinery and said Rhett was not moving,” Severson said. “So they started doing CPR and called the coast guard right away.”

He said Wrangell search and rescue arrived about 40 minutes after the call.

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