A troller is hard aground after cutting the corner too close at the south end of the Sitka runway.
A passing skiff notified the harbor department shortly after 1:30 this afternoon (Fri 5-4-12) that the 43-foot wooden troller “Igloo” was aground and in trouble.
Both the harbor master and Search and Rescue responded to the vessel. SAR captain Don Kluting says that when he arrived, the Igloo was listing at about a ten degree angle. A few minutes later, the list increased, and the vessel’s stern was underwater.
Both the Igloo’s skipper and deckhand were reportedly reluctant to leave the Igloo at first. Kluting says the crew eventually abandoned the boat after saving some valuable electronics.
Chuck Hackett, with the harbor department, says it looks like the Igloo struck a hazard known as two-fathom rock at the corner of the runway. He says the skipper and deckhand were momentarily distracted with tending to gear when the Igloo went aground. Hackett was assisted aboard the harbor skiff by Brian Bellows and Jeremiah Johnson.
As of deadline for this story, the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment was en route to the scene. Hackett says the troller has settled, and is not in immediate danger of sinking. The skipper is already planning a salvage operation before tonight’s high tide.
“The Igloo,” says Hackett, “is not going anywhere.”