Local News

Sea lion lunges at Sitka fisherman

Sea lions touch noses as one clambers onto a buoy near feeding whales in Sitka Sound. Sea lions follow humpbacks, eating herring stunned or killed during feeding. Photo by Ed Schoenfeld.

Sea lions touch noses as one clambers onto a buoy in Sitka Sound. (CoastAlaska photo/ Ed Schoenfeld)

A 19 year old Sitka man had a run-in with a sea lion at Seafood Producers Cooperative on Saturday(1-25-14).

Alaska State Troopers say the man was sitting on the railing of a fishing vessel when a large bull pounced. The sea lion jumped out of the water and attempted to bite him — on the behind, causing the man to fall forward into the vessel.

The bitten man was a crew member on the Sitka-based Fishing Vessel Confidence, which was offloading bait herring at the time, according to State Troopers Spokesperson Megan Peters.

Julie Speegle, a spokesperson with the National Marine Fisheries Service says the man did not require medical attention.  “There were no puncture wounds, just abrasions,” she said.

According to Speegle, quote,  “it isn’t unheard of for big and powerful wild animals to habituate to humans, and see us as a food source.” Troopers do not believe that the crew was feeding sea lions, but, just to be safe, officials are reminding fisherman and hunters to dispose of waste properly, rather than dumping carcasses or scraps in the harbor.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Closing after 65 years, Brenner women look to the future

IMG_7918
The doors of one of the oldest family-owned stores in Sitka closed last month. Brenner’s Fine Clothing and Gifts has been a staple on Lincoln Street for the past 65 years. more

Coast Guard and SAR training together

Pete Melnick, the Operations Officer of Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, and Lance Ewers, the volunteer captain of Search and Rescue (SAR), share plans by to conduct a joint training operation this weekend and ongoing recruiting efforts. Melnick also shared safety reminders as boating season approaches. Downloadable audio. more