Friends Remember Former Kodiak Rescue Swimmer Skimin


Casey Kelly/KMXT

Former Kodiak resident and Coast Guard rescue swimmer Dave Skimin is being remembered as a caring, funny, and loving man. Skimin died last Thursday in a helicopter crash while on a training flight near Honolulu, where he and his wife Sally moved three years ago. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.

In this YouTube video from five years ago, Dave Skimin talks about one of his favorite hobbies: Surfing and making surfboards.

(Skimin YouTube 1 :14s “…[nat sound fades down]”)

Despite the cold water, or maybe because of it, Skimin found Kodiak to be the perfect place to surf.

(Skimin YouTube 2 :29s “…and there’s never crowds.”)

O’Brien Hollow worked with Skimin as a rescue swimmer at Air Station Kodiak before they were both transferred elsewhere: Skimin to Hawaii and Hollow to Astoria, Oregon. When they weren’t working they’d also surf together whenever they both had a day off. Hollow remembers that before he left Kodiak, Skimin dropped off a few gifts at his house.

(Hollow 1 :19s “…so I’m still surfing those.”)

Hollow says the main thing he’ll miss about Skimin is his sense of humor.

(Hollow 2 :12s “…issued coke bottle glasses.”)

Skimin was a regular on-air volunteer for KMXT, where his wife Sally served on the board of directors. He often filled in for Jim Peterson on the Acoustic Music Hour. They were neighbors in Bells Flats, and Peterson says the whole neighborhood is shocked by the news.

(Peterson 1 :19s “…why do the good people go?”)

Peterson says Skimin talked about moving back to Kodiak one day and playing stand-up bass with his band, White Twang. He even bought his own bass recently, just one of many toys that Peterson says the fun-loving Skimin had.

(Peterson 1 :23s “…to enjoy the outdoors.”)

Skimin was 38-years old. He’s survived by his wife, Sally, and a daughter from a previous relationship. The cause of the helicopter crash that killed him is still under investigation.

I’m Casey Kelly.


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