USA: A suspected refrigerant leak from a refrigeration unit onboard a trawler in Alaska, yesterday, has left one person dead and another in hospital.

Media reports say that the Kodiak Police Department responded to an incident aboard the fishing vessel Alpine Cove in St Herman Harbour on Near Island.

Five crew members were evacuated from the boat and two crew members were transported to hospital where a 30-year-old man from Everett, Washington, was pronounced dead. The other crew member is still being treated for exposure to refrigerant.

According to coast guard reports, a member of the crew had woken to smell something strange and then went to wake his fellow crew members to get them off the boat.

The 76ft Alpine Cove was built in 2001. Unconfirmed reports say that repair work had been carried out on Tuesday night.

No details are available of the refrigerant involved, although it has been described as a “Freon” leak. R22 is commonly used on fishing vessels.