This photo provided by the U. S. Coast Guard shows a crew member of the Alaska Ranger taken on board the Coast Guard Cutter Munro on Sunday, March 23, 2008. Four crew members died Sunday and another was missing after a Seattle-based fishing boat began sinking in high seas off Alaska's Aleutian Islands, the Coast Guard said. The dead were among 47 crew members who abandoned ship after the 184-foot (56-meter) Alaska Ranger developed problems. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)
The crew reported rudder problems before contacting the Coast Guard. Catastrophic flooding seems to have led to a loss of power (emergency pumping) and stability. Wherever the problem started, lazarette, engine room, it would have to breach two or more compartments to become catastrophic, because a vessel this size would have multiple watertight bulkheads. Kudos to the men and women of the Coast Guard and the other trawler (owned by the same company that owns the Alaska Ranger) that assisted in the rescue.
According to the article by the AP, the dead were the captain, chief engineer, first mate, and a crewman. A fifth man is still missing. One of the men killed, or the one who is missing, it's not clear which, was lost in the process of being rescued. The other three, the captain, first mate, and chief engineer, and possibly the fourth, may have died while trying to save the vessel and/or give the remaining crew time to safely abandon ship. I'm sure the details will be available in another day or so.