Steve Demmert Gives an Update on His Boat that Was Burned in the Craig Harbor - P.O.W. Report

Monday, May 29, 2017

Steve Demmert Gives an Update on His Boat that Was Burned in the Craig Harbor

[From his Facebook page:]

OK. I've been responding to other people's posts all day about my boat burning this morning. Now it's my turn.

I took the boat up to my slip in Craig the first week in April. I had a full spring of other things to do and the boat was ready to fish. This morning the boat moored next to mine caught fire. It was a fiberglass boat. No one knows yet how or why it caught fire. The winds were blowing about 25-30 right toward the Julia Kae. She caught and was soon consumed. All the aluminum house was melted and all the interior was destroyed. The forelegs of my mast tripod rigging were also aluminum. As they melted the rigging came down. Mast, main boom with the power block, and two picking booms, all with hydraulic winches, went over and are on the bottom....somewhere. The fire reached down into the fo'c'sle but may have been slowed enough by the CO2 suppression system in the engine room to mostly spare the engines and hydraulics and refer system. Jury still out on that though. Two laptops with all my routes and set notes on charts, handwritten notebooks with every set I'd ever made since starting out in 1981 and before with my dad back to 1975. Just had installed a brand new radar as well.

Small miracles though. The net in the fish hold is almost completely fishable. I crawled in there and felt it and none of it is brittle or sticky except for a few corks with minor heat damage and a little bit of web less than the size of the palm of my hand that melted to one cork. The power skiff appears ok but the rope beard is partly melted and the starboard bumpers are melted. There is only minor hull plate damage visible along each side of where the house burned hottest.

The only thing I know for sure tonight is that I won't be fishing THIS boat this summer. I already have heard of three possibilities of boats to lease for this summer. Insurance will be sending a surveyor to assess it and then we'll decide whether to tow it back to Seattle.

I just had a birthday and responded to so many well wishes that "everyday is a great day". Well, every day except today. But no one was injured, including hard working and brave for fighters and many local people including cousins of mine who saved many other boats. Special thanks to my cousin Karl Demmert for all he did for us and to him and his wife Tammy Demmert for taking me in while I'm up here.

Read More: Three Fires in Three Places in 24hrs! Three Commercial Fishing Boats Caught Fire in Craig Harbor May 21, 2017

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