Families of missing Destination crewmembers remember loved ones
SEATTLE - Beside the memorial statue at Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle, notes and flowers lay in honor of the six crewmembers lost on the Destination fishing vessel, which vanished Saturday off Alaska. Meanwhile, far from Seattle’s calm waters, the families of those six crew members are grieving.
“I don’t think I have the words to describe how much I miss him,” Dylan Hatfield said. “He was my big brother. I looked up to him.
Hatfield’s brother, Darrik Seibold was on board the Destination. His family remembers a passionate father who loved his two-year-old son dearly. He was an artist, and loved the water from the time he was a little boy, fishing in Juneau at his grandfather’s marina.
Dylan also worked on the Destination from 2008 until 2014. He knew the crew well, and calls them “true professionals.” He doesn’t want to speculate about what went wrong. He says the crewmembers are the only ones who really know.
“They were so good at what they did,” he said.
Six men with six stories.
Like Skipper Jeff Hathaway. His daughter Hannah says he was modest when it came to his work, but he was well respected within the fishing community.
“He was the best father to me and grandfather to my daughter I could have ever asked for,” she said. “He was a good man.”
Washington native Larry O’Grady spent more than two decades working on the Destination. His wife spoke with KOMO News after the vessel went missing.
A former crewmate of Charles Glenn Jones, Dylan called him a jokester who loved to have fun with his friends. Several videos shot on the Destination show Jones dancing and joking with his crewmates.
Ray J. Vincler proudly embraced his Alaskan heritage. He loved being out on the water from a young age. In recent years, his two sons had become his top priority. He was a family man through and through.
“He’s honestly the nicest guy I ever met,” Vincler’s brother-in-law, David Ravenscroft said. “He’s dearly missed.”
The past four days have been like a bad dream for Vincler’s family. They’re far from alone.
Kai Hamik, 29, was the youngest crewmember aboard the Destination. He and his girlfriend Amanda planned to start a family when he returned from Alaska in the Spring.
“There’s really no way to describe how we’ve been feeling,” Amanda Hawkins said. “He was the most amazing soul ever. He’s very sweet, kind, caring, generous, funny.”
Kai’s parents, Judy and Tom, and sister Leilani say they are a very close family. They have gathered in Alaska during this difficult week.
“It’s really hard not knowing,” Hawkins said.
We may never know what happened to the Destination. The U.S. Coast Guard’s three-day search turned up little more than debris and an oil sheen.
But despite so much uncertainly, Darrik Seibold’s brother Dylan has made his mind up about one thing: his fishing career.”
“I’ve thought a lot about this,” he said. “This is what I do... so I’ll be returning to the ocean.”
He believes that’s what his brother would have wanted. And no doubt, he’ll carry memories with him when he returns to the open sea.