Los Angeles reporter Stefanie Dazio and news researcher Randy Herschaft’s work on what at first seemed an under-the-radar news brief netted a tragic exclusive and UGC photos after a charter fishing vessel capsized off Alaska’s remote southeast coast, killing five.   

When the U.S. Coast Guard revealed there were five dead or lost at sea and released victims’ names, a team that included Dazio swung into action. Herschaft was the first to realize that four of the five victims were likely related. 

Dazio’s persistent and instinctive reporting put the AP light years ahead on a story that other media outlets hadn’t even noted yet — and elevated a small spot piece to a tragic narrative that was one of AP’s most read stories Friday and through the weekend.   

The piece was the second-most viewed story on social media last week — it was only bested by the Epstein document release — and was in the top five stories for engagement, with more than 180,000 page views and an engagement score of 88%.