Alaska State Troopers are investigating the drowning death of a Kake resident over the weekend. 

Troopers received a report at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning (8-27-22) that 29-year old Manuel Bell had driven his vehicle into Boot Lake. The lake is located on a Forest Service road about three miles southeast of the town center.

In an initial investigation of the incident, troopers report that Bell may have accidentally put his Subaru Outback into drive, rather than reverse, causing it to enter the lake and begin to sink. A passenger in the Outback was able to escape and swim to shore, but did not see Bell exit as well.

When local medics arrived, Bell’s car was completely submerged. Shortly after 5 a.m. troopers were advised that his body had been recovered floating in the water.

Troopers flew to Kake to investigate the incident; they suspect alcohol played a role. Bell’s body was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage. The investigation is ongoing.

USCG medevacs crew member from cruise ship

On Tuesday evening (8-30-22), the US Coast Guard medevaced an ailing crew member from the cruise ship Celebrity Eclipse, near Dall Island, about 65 miles southwest of Ketchikan.

The staff captain of the Celebrity Eclipse notified Coast Guard headquarters in Juneau shortly after 4 p.m. that a crew member was apparently suffering from acute appendicitis. An Air Station Sitka helicopter arrived on scene shortly after 7 p.m. and hoisted the patient from the ship. The 29-year old man was transported to Sitka, and transferred to awaiting Emergency Medical Services personnel.

In a news release, Lt. Trevor Layman, the Sector Juneau command duty officer, noted that offshore night missions “can be complex and challenging.” Layman commended the hard work and training the Coast Guard members involved in the rescue.