Yacht crewman’s death ruled accidental
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The state medical examiner’s office has determined there was no foul play in the death of a man in Sitka’s ANB Harbor last month.
The body of 33-year old John W. Schroeder, of New South Wales, Australia, was found on the bottom of ANB Harbor by Sitka Dive Rescue around 9 PM Friday July 12, near the end of float #1.
Schroeder had been reported missing by friends a few hours earlier, after he failed to appear for work as engineer aboard the 120-foot yacht Valkyrie. He was last seen alive leaving the Pioneer Bar shortly before midnight the previous evening.
Sgt. Bill Bandy, with the Sitka Police Department, says Schroeder’s death has been ruled an accidental drowning. A toxicology report indicated the Schroeder had a blood alcohol level of .3 (point-3) when he died. The legal intoxication limit is .08 (point-zero-eight).
Yesterday evening (09-01-15), a wooden seiner ran aground in the vicinity of the Twins Island, roughly 0.5 to 0.75 nm off the mouth of Indian River. The F/V Pacific Venture later sunk. Marine Safety Detachment Sitka estimates 5 gallons of diesel fuel was released in that grounding. more
On Friday, Governor Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration for Sitka, in response to seven landslides on August 18th. In a letter to the legislature, Walker said he would cap relief at $1 million for the moment, but that the incident is ongoing and total recovery costs are unknown. According to Gorman, the cost of emergency response alone is estimated to be over half a million dollars. Individual assistance and family grants are also available, at a cap of $16,450 per household. more