Sitka police say that Cameron likely drowned after falling overboard, attempting to tie up his 75-foot longliner to the SPC dock in windy conditions. (KCAW file photo)

A man died in Sitka’s harbor Monday morning (11-2-20), after falling into the water while attempting to tie up his vessel.

Sitka Police identified the man as 65-year-old Ronald Cameron. His boat the Allysen Moriah is out of Bellingham, Washington. His next of kin have been notified.

The Sitka Police Department received a call at 7:28 A.M. that a person was floating facedown in the water near the seawall by Seafood Producers Cooperative or SPC. Officers, an ambulance, and the Sitka Fire Department responded within minutes and quickly recovered the body from the water. They administered CPR, but Cameron was pronounced dead on scene. 

Sergeant Lance Ewers said the investigation into his death is ongoing, but satellite tracking shows that he arrived in the harbor on the 75-foot longliner shortly before the call came in. It appears he was trying to tie up his boat by himself.

“And, you know, with the weather and wind blowing, he managed to get it partially tied and then it appeared that the boat pulled away from the dock and he fell in,” Ewers said.

Cameron wasn’t wearing a life jacket, Ewers said. After he fell in, the boat started floating down the channel.

“These men who work at the SPC Center were able to throw stuff on it and grab onto it with poles and managed to wrangle it back into place and get some ropes on it and tie it off,” he said. “Because it would’ve literally just creamed into the boats just south of SPC there.”

No foul play is suspected, and the medical examiner’s office in Anchorage will conduct an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.