The Famous Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska claims to be the only luxury hotel in the area. The hotel is named after the world renowned British explorer Captain Cook, who set sail on a number of well documented expeditions travelling to the far corners of the world. He was the first explorer to tackle sailing around the tips of South America and Africa. On his final voyage in June 1778, he anchored his ship, the HMS Resolution, in Turnagain Bay just off the Anchorage coast. The spot at which he dropped anchor is visible from the Captain Cook Hotel and the reason the hotel earned its name.
The hotel today is part of the exclusive “Preferred Hotels and Resorts” group. It was built in 1964 following the earthquake that devastated the area. Local businessman, Walter Hickel, took advantage of the need to rebuild in the damaged town and set about constructing the hotel. The first tower of the Captain Cook Hotel was opened in 1965, followed by the opening of the second tower in 1972, and another in 1978. Over the years since it was first erected the Captain Cook Hotel has been subject to periods of refurbishment and upgrade, resulting in it becoming a prestigious and luxurious resort.
The construction of the hotel back in the 1960’s provided employment for a large number of people ranging from electricians, carpenters, builders and plumbers. This has continued whenever the hotel has undergone any rebuilding work. In addition to employment of construction workers, the hotel also employed the services of other tradesmen to carry out regular maintenance for the day to day running of various technical departments in the hotel. These included the boiler rooms and heating and plumbing systems.
When the hotel was first constructed many of the materials used would have contained asbestos. The requirement for materials that could withstand heat in the boiler rooms would have meant that fire retardant insulation and pipe lagging, which both contained asbestos, were ideal candidates at that time. In addition, products used to seal the hotel’s boilers and pipework would also have contained asbestos. Floor tiles and wall insulation were amongst a number of other products also manufactured from materials containing asbestos. All the employees working in these environments would have been unwittingly exposed to the asbestos fibers that were present in the surrounding air. Workers employed to carry out maintenance work, involving tearing out old insulation and removing old boilers, would also have been exposed to the asbestos fibers around them. Some workers employed at the hotel would have been exposed for prolonged periods at a time, putting them at even greater risk of developing asbestos associated diseases.
Many of the professions carrying out work at the hotel would have been in regular contact with asbestos including:
- General Builders
- Maintenance Staff
- Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers
The dangers of asbestos fibers present in many of the materials used in construction work were known, prior to the building of the Captain Cook Hotel. Asbestos gives off hundreds upon hundreds of tiny particles, referred to as fibers, which float in the air and settle on structures including hair and clothing. These fibers are unknowingly inhaled and settle in the lungs where they cause damage after prolonged exposure. Often the diseases related to asbestos exposure do not appear until many years later. In some cases it can be thirty years or more before symptoms are seen. The tiny fibers cause a range of illnesses due to the damage initiated in the lungs. Sufferers can find themselves with scarring of the lungs, thickening of the lungs, as well as the life threatening cancer Mesothelioma.
We believe that no one has to sit back and be a victim of asbestos related diseases. The Captain Cook Hotelwould have been aware that using materials containing asbestos carried a risk to its workers, yet they chose not to take adequate preventative measures. We are here to pursue justice against asbestos companies that knew their products were fatal, yet did nothing to warn the hard working men and women that used, or came in to contact with them. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re offering free consultations – schedule one today.