3 Crew Members Killed in 'Deadliest Catch' Crab Boat Crash Identified

[UPDATE: Discovery Channel has since confirmed that the Mary B. II was not featured on Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove, contrary to early reports from new outlets.]

The three crew members who died after a crabbing boat featured on Deadliest Catch capsized off the Oregon coast Tuesday night were identified Wednesday morning by the Oregon State Police.

The boat's skipper, Stephen Biernacki, 50, of Barnegat Township, New Jersey, was found with the boat and pronounced dead at the scene, KGW8 reports.

James Lacey, 48, of South Toms River, New Jersey, was found in the water and taken to Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport, Oregon, where he was pronounced dead.

Joshua Porter, 50, of Toledo, Oregon, was found by the Newport Fire Department on Nye Beach, north of the north jetty and pronounced dead.

There were reportedly no other crew members aboard the Mary B II, a commercial crab boat that was featured in the 2016 series Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove, which explored the dangers of crabbing boats crossing the Yaquina Bay bar.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported that the crew members went into the water while crossing the Yaquina Bay bar, where seas were at 12 to 14 feet. They had reportedly requested a Coast Guard escort; when the Coast Guard arrived, it said the Mary B II was capsized at the entrance point of the two jetties.

The boat capsized around 10 p.m. Tuesday. Lacey and Porter were found unresponsive Tuesday night, but the Coast Guard said one other crew member, who we now know to be skipper Biernacki, had died and was trapped in the boat. Another rescue mission was planned for this morning at 9 a.m., where divers assumedly recovered Biernacki's body.

A promo for Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove describes the Newport bar as a dangerous obstacle crab fishermen must cross in order to get back to port after a day of fishing.

"Located within a mile from shore, this treacherous stretch of water is closely monitored by the Coast Guard," the promo says.

"This bar could be terrifying," one fisherman says, with another adding, "That bar'll kill you. You gotta respect it."


"The river bar is a passageway between two man-made jetties connecting Newport Harbor to the Pacific Ocean," the promo continues. "Under the surface, water from the harbor flows out, colliding with currents coming in, creating monster waves that can exceed 30 feet. It's impossible to tell when or where these waves will strike. If a boat is in their path, destruction is almost certain and survival is rare."

While KEZI reported that the Mary B II was featured on the 2016 Discovery Channel show, a synopsis of the episodes does not directly mention the boat.