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The Rev. James Nibler

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The Coast Guard says a former Alton priest and a friend died after their boat capsized while they were crab fishing in the Pacific Northwest.

The bodies of the Reverend James Nibler and 52-year-old Curtis Heurer were found Saturday.

The Coast Guard says neither man was wearing a life jacket when their 16-foot aluminum overturned near the mouth of the Columbia River.

Nibler's brother, Lawrence, is missing.

The 54-year-old priest had been serving at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Newberg, Oregon.

In Illinois, Nibler had been a parochial vicar in the early 1990s at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alton. Diocese records show that Nibler served in Alton until late 2003, when he became a priest in the Portland, Oregon, area.

Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Feb. 26 to Mar. 2, 2008
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