F/T Alaska Ocean Crew Member Dies in Explosion

Thursday, March 13 2014

The Coast Guard and Unalaska police are investigating a fatal accident that took place aboard a 376-foot factory trawler this week.

Police chief Jamie Sunderland says crew members on the Alaska Ocean were doing some repair jobs at about 9 p.m. on Tuesday night.

"It looks like an acetylene tank was leaking inside of a cabinet, which was ignited by some nearby welding," says Sunderland.

The resulting explosion blew a door off its hinges. It struck one of the crew members -- 48-year-old Franz Dalquen of Arizona.

"He was pronounced dead just a few minutes later -- about a half hour later -- by the medic on the vessel," says Sunderland.

Sunderland says the Alaska Ocean was about 125 miles outside Unalaska at the time of the accident. The vessel made it back to port Wednesday night, where they were met by Unalaska police.

Sunderland says the police have already ruled out foul play. But the medical examiner in Anchorage will still perform an autopsy.

The Alaska Ocean is owned by Glacier Fish Company of Seattle.

Merry Gilbert on Monday, March 17 2014:

Dear Franz, our hearts are broken. We loved you. The last few years were amazing with your boys and it warmed my heart to see the changes. You and Stephanie were a good fit and i'm glad you had her. There is so much more I would have liked to say. The love I had for you ran deep even after we moved on. Rest now and know that you will be missed ,well loved, and never forgotten. Our boys will be reminded of you often, I wish you had had more time with them.

lucas d'Alquen on Saturday, March 15 2014:

wow! I cant believe that your really gone, I just wish I could've had more time with you, I just wish there was something I could do to bring you back steph is just a mess without you, you may not have been home a lot but you where still the best dad. I would give anything to bring you back you had such a great impact on a lot of people and I don't know what im going to do without you. I miss you dad

Katie Newsom Kladar on Saturday, March 15 2014:

The class of '83 will miss you greatly. We talked about you at the 30 year reunion last summer, wishing you could have joined us. I have fun and fond high school memories of you. For as far back as I can remember, my family always looked forward to heading to your dad's donut shop on Sunday mornings. Rest in peace. I"m honored to have called you a friend.

Bill and Audrey Herring, Kingman, AZ on Saturday, March 15 2014:

Our hearts and prayers are with you. We are nieghbors and my nephew spent 3 years on the fishing boats. He later did boat inspections, including the one Franz was on. Our entire family sends our deepest condolances.

Holly on Saturday, March 15 2014:

My hart and prayers are with your family.

marla mills on Friday, March 14 2014:

Hey Franz! Remember me? Marla mills here. Alutian ulumni m...ember. I fondly remember you as a kind funny caring guy with a great personality that complimated your cooking style. Yum. Do me a favor while ur out ithere? Find my sister Lisa Mills and hug her tight. She changed her address two years ago at the same age as you. You both have pure beautiful souls. I suggest u go on a motorcycle ride together. Wind in the face and at your back wheather by land or sea.

Noah on Friday, March 14 2014:

Thank you Bob & Kaylene Schwartz. I deeply miss you uncle Franz. I love you so mutch, and may every ones prayers be with you.

Robb Frazier on Friday, March 14 2014:

Franz, be assured that the entire fishing community's thoughts and well wishes are being sent to your family and friends.

Fair winds and following seas,

Arctic Storm

Dale Larson on Friday, March 14 2014:

My dear old friend..... I just learned this morning that you've changed addresses and are now residing in heaven. You now know all of the magic of our universe, the answers to all those questions we still struggle with on this side. Death can come so quickly, as you have now learned, and those of us left behind feel robbed of having lost you. We know, however, that you have only changed addresses, that your terrific smile and great laugh will remain here inside of us.
I will never forget that time when we were joking around in the upper change room and I suddenly decided to take you on and charged you! Actually, it surprised both of us; you for the fact that this "old man" would even make the attempt, and me for the fact that I'd actually caught you off guard enough to over power you! Ha ha! You were so strong, we even hugged each other and shook hands strong.
I don't quite know exactly how this message is going to get to you...maybe it's arriving as I sit here and type it. There are so many things we, here on earth, will never know. All we really have is our faith.
I won't be able to make it to your memorial service on Wednesday (Cory told me about this), but know that you will remain in my heart.

Thank you for being my friend, Franz!

In God's Love,

Bob & Kaylene Schwartz on Friday, March 14 2014:

To the family of Franz, we express our deepest sympathy, we are so sorry for your loss. Franz was always so upbeat and smiling all the time. Stephanie, our hearts go out to you, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Bobby & Cyndi Martinez on Friday, March 14 2014:

RIP Franz. You had such an amazing impact on so many lives. Such a tragic accident. We will miss you greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and with those left behind. We promise to take care of Stephanie. We know how much you two loved each other.

Helen Quinones on Friday, March 14 2014:

may you rest in peace my friend may god comfort your family in this tragic time of need. our prayers go out to you straight from the Arctic Fjord

M. Greene on Thursday, March 13 2014:

Fishing families everywhere are holding you and your loved ones close to heart.

Deed Rodgers on Thursday, March 13 2014:

RIP my childhood friend, the ocean drew us both, at least you pass doing what you loved, fair winds and following seas, brother

anke sara Bubenzer on Thursday, March 13 2014:

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends.God bless you all.

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