Central Coast fishermen mourned one of their own on Wednesday, a day after 47-year-old David Allen Kubiak fell off his boat and was found five miles off the coast of Cambria.
Kubiak, of Los Osos, appeared to have fallen overboard sometime overnight Monday, sheriff’s spokesman Rob Bryn said. His body was discovered at 10:40 Tuesday morning.
The 39-foot boat, Axel, which is ported in Morro Bay, was spotted by someone on another fishing boat named Miss Allison, officials said.
Kubiak died from salt water drowning with complications from hypothermia, Bryn said.
A member of the local fishing community said the already small group suffered a tremendous loss with the death of the third-generation fisherman.
“David is one of us. A very good one, very well-liked by everyone,” said Jeremiah O’Brien, a member of the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Association, who has known Kubiak for about 30 years.
The Axel, which had drifted about 60 miles offshore when it was found, was towed in to the harbor about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Kubiak was fishing for prawns on his last trip, O’Brien said, adding that he also fished for crabs and salmon. Kubiak had been fishing since an early age mainly because his grandfather and father were also fishermen, O’Brien said.
“It’s always hard when it hits so close to home,” O’Brien said. “We feel terrible.”
O’Brien said Kubiak named the boat, which he purchased a few years ago, after his grandfather.
Bryn said Kubiak was likely laying out traps when he fell off the boat. He was tied to one of the buoys attached to the trap as a flotation device, Bryn said.
He was not wearing a protective suit designed to keep fishermen warm in cold water, Bryn said.
No foul play is suspected at this point. The FBI and Coast Guard are expected to look at the vessel, Bryn said.