Names of 3 Lost in Crabbing Boat Accident in Coos Bay


(Photo: courtesy of Coast Guard Air Station North Bend)

Date: January 19, 2016

Location: Coos Bay, Ore.

Names: Glen A. Burkhow, Blane L. Steinmetz, Daniel N. Matlock & Joshua W. Paulus

Vessel Name: Eagle III

Coos County, Ore. – The 40-foot vessel Eagle III collided with the North Jetty, while crabbing near the mouth of Coos Bay around 9 p.m. January 19th.

Coast Guard, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg said the commercial fishing vessel overturned around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Eagle III crashed into the jetty breaking apart and throwing all crew members into the ocean. None of the crew members were wearing flotation devices and the vessel’s life raft was not deployed.


Winds were over 30 mph at the time of the incident and the seas were 8 to 10 feet. A distress beacon alerted the Coast Guard of a vessel in distress. The Coast Guard dispatched both a helicopter and boat crews for search and rescue operations. The search helicopter located the body of 52-year-old crew member Blane L. Steinmetz of Port Orford, during their initial search at 1 a.m. January 20th. The captain of the vessel Glen A. Burkhow, 52, of Port Orford made it onto the jetty and walked out for help. Joshua W. Paulus, 31, and Daniel N. Matlock, 37, of Port Orford were still missing the following day. Capt. Michael Trimpert, commander of the Coast Guard Sector North Bend, said the agency will saturate the search area in an effort to find the missing fishermen.

Our condolences go out to the families and friends of Blane L. Steinmetz, Daniel N. Matlock & Joshua W. Paulus and a gofundme page has been setup for the families effected by this accident:

When accidents like this happen it is important that you protect the rights of those lives lost as well as those of their families.

Oregon wrongful death claims are allowed under ORS 30.020, but the law is much more complicated than a normal accident case. First of all, the statute of limitations (SOL)(time limit on filing a claim) is different. For most car accidents, the SOL is two years, but for wrongful death, the SOL is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .”

Additionally, there are limits on who can bring a wrongful death claim. The most common claimants are:

  • Spouses
  • Children (including stepchildren)
  • Parents (including stepparents)

Less common claimants include:

  • Grandchildren
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

In a wrongful death case, you can ask for compensation for several types of damages such as:

  • Charges for medical services;
  • Charges for burial and memorial services;
  • Compensation that the decedent would have been entitled to for disability, pain and suffering, and loss of income during the period between injury and death;
  • Compensation for “pecuniary loss” to the decedent’s estate;
  • Compensation for the loss of the decedent’s “society, companionship and services” to the decedent’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents, and parents;

Punitive damages are allowed as well, but are rare in Oregon since the State takes 70% of punitive damages awarded. If you have lost a loved one, call a Portland wrongful death attorney for help in securing the compensation you deserve.




About Sean DuBois

Sean is a personal injury attorney in Portland, OR. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as Oregon Rising Stars for the past four years because of his dedication to justice and fair compensation for his clients. If you need to speak with a lawyer about your injury case, Sean can be reached at 503-222-4411.

Posted on January 21, 2016, in Wrongful Death and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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