Annual ‘Blessing of the Fleet' remembers ‘Destination' crew members

KING 5's Lili Tan reports.

SEATTLE -- It’s been one month and one day since the Destination mysteriously disappeared in Alaskan waters. The Seattle-based crabbing boat went missing in the Bering Sea and all six crew members with it.

On Sunday, the fishing community marked its 89th “Blessing of the Fleet" at Seattle's Fisherman's Terminal.. Lutheran ministers raised a flag above a boat named St. Anthony and wished safe passage for all who risk their lives at sea.

However, it was Destination that was on the minds of many people who attended.

“I come to the blessing every year,” Laurel Schultz of Gig Harbor said.

Schultz’s cousin worked on a crab boat and was lost at sea in 1989.

“I’m drawn to this every year because it’s a powerful experience. It brings together a group of people who care about fishermen and women,” Schultz said.

On February 11, the Destination disappeared off the coast of St. George, Alaska. Among those on board were Larry O’Grady, 55, Kai Hamik, 29, and Charles Glen Jones, 46.

The Coast Guard searched for three days, coordinating 21 search parties and covering more than 5,000 square nautical miles before suspending the search.

“It reminded me of how I felt in 1989 actually, and how hard it was for my family,” Schultz said.

Ministers at the event say there will be a memorial service for Destination crew members on March 23. 

Copyright 2017 KING


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