Two people are dead after a boating accident between Petersburg and Wrangell that happened on Sunday night. The 18 foot skiff overturned near Level Island—just south of the Wrangell narrows.
Coast guard spokesman Grant Devuyst said the victims called the Petersburg Police Department on their cellphone after their vessel tipped over. The police contacted the coast guard around 6pm.
“We immediately launched the coast guard cutter Naushon as well as a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter out of the air station in Sitka to begin searching for these two individuals. An overturned skiff was located. Our coast guard crew located two persons in the water. Alaska state troopers, who were in small boats, were also helping with the search as well as Wrangell Search and Rescue, who had a fixed wing plane. The small boats were able to recover those two bodies,” Devuyst said.
The victims were 45 year-old Jonathan Comfort from Clayton, Delaware and 58 year-old Kenneth Rupprecht from Tammassee, South Carolina. According to Alaska State Troopers, neither was wearing a life jacket at the time. They were also not equipped with immersion suits. Their bodies were transported to the State Medical Examiner in Anchorage for autopsy.
- The city thinks Hecla's Greens Creek mine may be responsible. The mine says its discharges in the area meet state requirements.
- Sarah Erkmann, external affairs manager for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association trade group, said the tax amounts to “punishing” oil companies.
- The Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon canceled its annual convention slated to be held in Haines, mainly due to the weak Canadian dollar.
- For now, traffic in Gastineau Channel will not be restricted, but Hilbert said they will likely establish a no-wake zone during the actual salvage operation.