Divers Recover Two Bodies from Boathouse Fire at Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, Washington

Posted in Maritime Accidents,Seattle Maritime News,Washington Maritime News on April 10, 2012

BELLINGHAM, WA. – Divers searching for Jim Langei, 43, and his wife Sterling Taylor, 33, who have been missing since the March 30 fire at Squalicum Harbor, have recovered two bodies on April 5.

Photo shows Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham WA before boathouse fire on March 30, 2012. The city of Bellingham is located approximately 90 miles north of Seattle.

Divers recovered one body at about 8 a.m. Thursday, April 5, and the other at about 10:45 a.m. Police stated that it was too early to confirm whether it was the missing couple that lived on one of the boats at the marina, but suspect that the bodies are Langlei and Taylor.

Map Shows location of Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, Washington.

Squalicum Harbor is described as a full-service marina on the northern shores of Bellingham Bay in the city of Bellingham, WA. Bellingham is located about 90 miles north of Seattle. It is the home port to more than 1,400 commercial and pleasure boats, including a large charter boat fleet. On Friday, March 30, a massive fire broke out  in the marina.

At about 5:30 a.m. on Friday, March 30,  records show that Sterling Taylor called 911 stating that she and her husband were trapped on board their boat. By the time firefighters got to them, their boat was already engulfed in flames and the firefighters had no fireboat to aid them since the City of Bellingham decommissioned their old fireboat last year.

Jim Langei, 43, and his wife Sterling Taylor, 33, had been missing since the massive marina fire broke out on that tragic day. Langei and Taylor both lived aboard their 42-foot boat, which was one of 10 boats that burned or sank.

Whatcom County Medical Examiner, Gary Goldfogel, said in an email that the autopsies should provide information on smoke inhalation, pre-death burns, possible drowning or other contributing elements to the deaths.

Though the bodies match the physical description of Langei and Taylor, a dental match will be required to confirm their identities.

A tribute has been posted at YouTube with these words:

“The untimely passing of Jim and Sterling under tragic circumstances has hit everyone who knew them hard. Jim & Sterling will be missed by many people, they were friends to everyone, loved by all. Rest in Peace my friends”.

Bellingham Herald