Catamaran begins to sink, but stabilizes
[Saturday] morning at the Seward Small Boat Harbor, a boat owner arrived and spotted a catamaran that looked well on its way to sinking.
photo by James Unrein
The good news is that it looks worse than it is, according to the ship's owner.
"Somehow, we don't know how," said Tom Tougas, owner of the M/V Spirit of Adventure, "the three rear compartments filled with water. Of course, when you fill the back of the boat the front goes up in the air."
Fortunately, fuel tanks stayed elevated and out of the water, so nothing was spilled into the harbor. The U.S. Coast Guard said did not even need to respond, and Tougas is working with captains to get the boat leveled out between 6 and 8 p.m., when tides are cooperating.
1 of 2 skiers survives avalanche
Alaska State Troopers say two men skiing in the Rainbow Mountains were caught in an avalanche Saturday afternoon, with one killed and the other digging himself out from the snow to summon help.
In a Sunday AST dispatch, troopers say the dead man is “tentatively identified” as 35-year-old Eric Peterson of Delta Junction. AST spokeswoman says Peterson's next of kin have been notified, but his body hasn’t been recovered.
Black Rapids Lodge volunteer David Savage, about 20 miles down the road from the site of the avalanche, said Sunday that the lodge is owned by the man troopers named as the surviving skier -- 63-year-old Fairbanks resident Michael Hopper. According to Savage, Hopper has spent a lot of time in the mountains around Black Rapids, and the lodge holds a course in avalanche safety ever year.
... “It was reported that (Hopper) had been skiing with a man tentatively identified as (Peterson) when they heard a ‘whoomp’ from the snow about 20 feet above them,” troopers wrote. “Hopper reported it took him 2-3 hours to dig himself out. Once he was free he located Peterson’s glove and dug down and found Peterson deceased.”
We always hate hearing stories like this. It seems early in the season for avalanches, but our unusually-warm weather has kept the Interior snow too soft.