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May 18th, 2011

Alaska Clam Diggers Killed in Maritime Accident

Three men are dead and two are still missing after they vanished during a clam digging trip southwest of Kalgin Island in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

The Coast Guard began searching after it got a call Tuesday afternoon from Pacific Alaska Shellfish.  The commercial clamming employer told the Coast Guard that five of its maritime employees on board a company-owned 20-foot aluminum skiff went missing while transiting the area near Polly Creek.  In this area, the men had been digging for clams.

A search by the company found the body of one of the crewmembers.  A Coast Guard helicopter crew found two more dead early Tuesday evening. Two other maritime crew are still missing.

The names of the men have not been released.

The initial reports reveal that something took down the skiff, but no one is sure what happened yet.

Clam digging is how clams are harvested from the mud flats in which they live.  Commercial clamming is largely done offshore via mechanical dredging, or by hand-pulling, clam raking, clam hoes, rollers, with spading forks, boat tongs, or with cages.

Offshore work can be the most dangerous work to do.  Our maritime lawyers have over 47 years of experience handling claims for workers injured in and around Alaska, and all over the world.  If you or someone you know has questions about their rights under maritime law, please contact us today at info@smslegal.com or at the numbers listed on our website.

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