Depoe Bay seafood company sues fisherman over power outage that killed slime eels

FILE - Slime Eel truck overturns on Highway 101 - Photo courtesy Oregon State Police

DEPOE BAY, Ore. – A seafood company based in Depoe Bay is suing a fisherman who they say caused a power outage that led to thousands of their slime eels dying.

According to a lawsuit filed in Lincoln County, AA Seafood, Inc. is accusing Darin Rodabaugh of failing to lower the antenna or mast on his boat when he took it out of the water on Sept. 10, 2016. As he pulled the boat away in his pickup truck, the boat’s antenna or mast caught the power line, according to the lawsuit.

The court document goes on to say that the collision with the power line cause a power outage at AA Seafood that lasted for about 6 hours.

The collision also caused Rodabaugh’s boat to catch fire.

At the time of the power outage, AA Seafood had about 16,400 pounds of live hagfish, also known as slime eels, at its Depoe Bay facility. Keeping the hagfish alive in a tank requires constant power to circulate water through the tanks to keep the water fresh and at the correct temperature.

According to the lawsuit, the outage caused the tanks at the facility to stop functioning properly, which resulted in most of the hagfish in the tank dying.

AA Seafood, Inc. is suing Rodabaugh for $49,000 in damages for costs and reimbursements.

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