Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More on the Yakutat tragedy

Deckboss asked the Alaska State Troopers whether the three salmon fishermen involved in the Dangerous River capsizing that left two dead Monday were wearing life preservers.

Here's the reply from AST spokeswoman Megan Peters:

Two of the three had PFDs (personal flotation devices). After the boat was swamped and capsized, they were able to crawl up on the vessel and sit out of the water. They were there for about four hours. They were pretty cold and shivering. After sitting for so long, the two with PFDs decided to make a swim for the shore since it was 'so close' (maybe a few hundred yards). As they swam, hypothermia likely set in very quickly. They drowned while attempting to get to shore. The one without the PFD stayed with the boat. A plane spotted him sometime after. A helo was sent out, but the man was too exhausted to pull himself up into the helo or onto the skids. It was a small two-seater without floats so it couldn't land. Skiffs from a nearby community set out and collected him. The bodies of the two deceased were spotted by a fixed-wing flying overhead. They had washed up on the shoreline by then. One a half mile away, the other about two miles away.

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