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Ward Merdes
Ward Merdes
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Alaska Commercial Fishing Is Deadliest Catch

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Families of commercial fisherman in Alaska await news of missing family members believed to be taken by rough Alaskan seas.

Alaska State Troopers are resuming the search for Juneau fisherman Rick Nebert and crewman Matthew Young of Sitka. Both have been missing since their boat disappeared one week ago.

“Commercial fishing in Alaska accounts for an occupational fatality rate that is 28 times the rate for all U.S. workers.”

Fishing boats are hazardous working environments. Further efforts are required to prevent injuries and fatalities. Fishing industry accidents have become so commonplace that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) established a program for occupational injury surveillance in Alaska. It will address risk factors leading to occupational death and injury in this state.

According to Alaska Statute AS 09.55.050, there must be a Presumptive Death Certificate issued by a judge or magistrate, recorded with the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Per Alaska Statute
09.55.020, a petition must be presented to the district court to start the process of obtaining this certificate. Neither a person’s life insurance nor their estate can be administered until this process is complete. Families suffering such a tragic loss should immediately contact an attorney.