PERU, Ind. – An Indiana woman is grieving after a terrible tragedy that happened thousands of miles away. On December 31, a crab fishing boat sank in the frigid waters off Alaska. Indiana man Brock Rainey was one of the crew members on board.
“He worked on the Scandies Rose boat. They catch crab and fish, so it’s a really dangerous job,” Ashley Boggs said.
Boggs’ living room wall is filled with reminders of what her fiancé loved to do. There are multiple pictures of Rainey working on a boat, many of which are selfies with a contagious smile.
"He always told me how beautiful it was, and I love that picture up there because you can see the mountains," she said.
Boggs says Rainey had a passion for his job and spent months at a time at sea. She said he never seemed concerned about the dangers that could come along with it.
“He was supposed to be gone for three months, but they were out like a day," Boggs said.
Rainey is one of the five crew members who are feared dead after their crab fishing boat sank after coming into contact with rough seas and freezing conditions on December 31. Boggs remembers Rainey told her the conditions were bad, but he didn’t seem alarmed. Reports say, the crew battled 40 mile per hour winds and 20-foot seas.
“It was an hour before all of that happened, he talked to me,” Boggs said.
The coast guard called off their search after 20-hours.
“I never really thought that it would end like this,” she said. “He loved his job. He was like, 'I love my life, I love my job,' and he showed me videos, and I was like, 'Yeah, that’s pretty dangerous.'”
According to the Associated Press, commercial fishing is one of the country’s most dangerous occupations. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, from 2010 to 2014 there were 66 vessel disasters in Alaska waters.
She was told her fiancé attempted to save his fellow fishermen before he went missing—a final act of heroism that his loved ones will never forget.
According to reports, the boat's last known position was 170 miles southwest of Kodiak Island, near the southern tip of Alaska where it sank. Two other crew members on board were rescued.