Fisherman: Last-Minute Mayday May Have Cost Boat Captain His Life

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A surviving crew member of a sunken fishing boat in Alaska says the captain's decision to send a last-minute distress call may have cost him his life while saving everyone else.

Robert Jack also says captain Robert Royer had been nervous about the amount of cargo the Northern Belle was carrying when it left Seattle earlier this month.

Jack says the 75-foot vessel was so low in the water that Royer decided to take a slower route north to Alaska, avoiding the roughest water by staying close to shore.

Royer suffered a head injury while leaving the boat Tuesday as it sank.

Jack tells The Associated Press that the vessel's Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon did not activate. Royer, rather than immediately jumping ship with the others, stayed in the wheelhouse to make a frantic mayday call and give their position to the Coast Guard.

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