Three groups of boaters throughout Southcentral and Southeastern Alaska are keeping Coast Guard aviators busy.
The 107-foot fishing vessel “Midnight Maid” began taking on water about 30 miles south of Resurrection Bay on Thursday night. Lt. Crystal Hudak, search and rescue controller for the Coast Guard in Juneau, says the wooden vessel was getting hammered by 13-foot seas. Winds were 30-knots in the area. The four crewmen of the Seward-based vessel were prepared. Hudak says they donned survival suits, grabbed a radio and an EPIRB as they climbed into a life raft. A Kodiak based H-60 helicopter hoisted them aboard and took them back to Seward about midnight last night.
Hudak says there were no reported injuries.
An H-60 helicopter will be dispatched out of Sitka on Friday morning when the fog lifts. They will search for at least four people in a skiff who were headed to Klag Bay to count salmon. They did not return to Sitka as planned on Thursday night.
The Coast Guard has rescued four men whose 19-foot aluminum boat swamped in heavy seas as they were returning from a hunting trip northwest of Cordova. The men sent a distress call on Thursday before abandoning their boat and taking their dinghy to shore. A Coast Guard helicopter located the men on a shoreline off Orca Inlet and hoisted them off the beach. They were taken to the Cordova Community Hospital for evaluation.
- Bans on plastic grocery bags have been cropping up across Alaska’s remote communities. Cordova’s ban went into effect last year. But so far, the larger cities in the state have yet to adopt one.
- Things are not looking good for Haines’ Alaska State Trooper post. Trooper Director Col. James Cockrell intends to reassign Haines’ one trooper position to Bethel. The decision isn’t final yet, but the community conversation about how to handle the loss continued at a Public Safety Commission meeting this week.
- A new study from a Alaskan epidemiologist looks at infants who were exposed to opiates before birth. Unlike previous studies, it goes beyond the sharp rise in cases for a portion of the population to explore what happens next.
- Commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska have survived two years of state budget cuts but not without some changes. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries has cut some positions, ended some monitoring programs, and found some new funding sources.