Three rescued after boat overturns in Bay
Three men were rescued by people aboard boats nearby, after spending nearly 30 minutes in the water on Friday south of the Homer Spit.
Homer resident Keith Hediger, 60, his son, Adam, 26 and Michael Huff, 64, of Ninilchik were treated for hypothermia at South Peninsula Hospital. One was treated additionally for a shoulder injury. Two were able to leave the hospital after being treated, and a third was kept over night.
Wildlife Trooper David Chaffin said he was called at 3:20 p.m. to a report that the men’s 18-foot skiff overturned in the bay about two miles southwest of Homer between Neptune Bay and Yukon Island.
“The three were on board when a wave caught it and it overturned. All three wore life jackets and were ejected,” Chaffin said. “The three good samaritan vessels had recovered them. They did an excellent job of getting them out.”
Given the state of the seas that day, up to six feet, the incident went fairly well, Chaffin said. If another vessels hadn’t witnessed the capsize, the men likely would have gone unspotted in the high seas.
“It was a pretty dramatic rescue and good work on the part of the three boats that helped us out,” Chaffin said.
Jack and Bonnie Porter, of Homer, witnessed it going over and responded immediately. They were helped by the Fishing Vessel Elma J and the University of Fairbanks research boat operated by Hans Pederson of the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory in Seldovia.
“The Porters were able to get all three individuals out of the water while the Coasts Guard was responding. They had transferred them to the UAF boat and we escorted the UAF boat into the harbor where the Homer Volunteer Fire Department met them with an ambulance and all three were transported to hospital,” Chaffin said.
“I would really like to credit the three Good Samaritans for responding – if it weren’t for them we would have had a much more dangerous situation on our hands,” he said.
Inletkeeper offers water sampling class
Cook Inletkeeper is offering an informational class about private drinking water testing for common contaminants such as bacteria, arsenic, lead and nitrates at a June 20 class from 6-7 p.m. in Homer High School Room A104. Sampling kits and instructions will be available at a discounted rate. Sampling will take place the morning after the class, and Inletkeeper will ship the samples to a state certified lab in Anchorage that same morning.
In Alaska, private water sources are not regulated by state and federal law, and homeowners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their own water. For more information about the Safe Drinking Water program, contact Dorothy at 235-4068, ext.34 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available at www.inletkeeper.org.
Governor expands loan program
Gov. Sean Parnell signed House Bill 121, that creates the Mariculture Revolving Loan Fund, the Alaska Microloan Revolving Loan Fund, the Commercial Charter Fisheries Revolving Loan Fund, and the Community Quota Entity Revolving Loan Fund within the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
The Mariculture Revolving Loan Fund provides capital to entrepreneurs in coastal communities to allow year-round farming of shellfish, and create new jobs in the mariculture industry.
The Alaska Microloan Revolving Loan Fund will provide funding for start-up costs, working capital and inventory expansion, spurring small business development and viability. The Community Quota Entity Revolving Loan Fund will help rural communities obtain individual fishing quotas for federal fisheries, increase economic opportunities and create rural jobs, with quota shares leased to community residents. The Commercial Charter Fisheries Revolving Loan Fund will assist Alaska commercial charter operators to acquire charter halibut permits.
More time to comment on Bristol Bay
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency asking that the 60-day comment period on the Bristol Bay watershed assessment be extended to allow greater public participation during Alaska’s traditionally busy summer months.
Murkowski and Young requested the comment period be increased to 120 days, until Nov. 20. The comment period is currently set to end on July 23.
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