Published on:

One Rescued, One Deceased after Fishing Vessel and Skiff Collide

Wrangell_AK-300x164It is with great sadness that we report the tragic incident that unfolded after a collision between the 58-foot F/V VIS and a 20-foot skiff in Wrangell Narrows, Alaska.

The collision claimed the life of a 73-year-old woman from California, as confirmed by the U.S. Coast Guard, and resulted in another individual being thrown into the water.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, good Samaritans pulled a 71-year old, later identified as Gordon Paul of California, from the water. He was transported to a nearby boat launch at Papke’s Landing and taken to Petersburg Medical Center.

The U.S. Coast Guard and on-scene partner agencies began a search for the second person. After hours of searching, a Petersburg Search and Rescue diver found and later recovered the person deceased inside the sunken vessel. The deceased person has been identified as Susan Paul of California.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to those affected by this terrible tragedy,” said Coast Guard Lt. Katy Coppola, search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector Southeast Alaska. “We send our thoughts and support to the family members at this time and thank our partner agencies and good Samaritans for their assistance in this case.”

The search effort included U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Wrangell Search and Rescue, Petersburg Search and Rescue, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry (WLI-65401), U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Denman (WPC-1149), Alaska State Troopers, and numerous good Samaritans.

A spokesperson with the U.S. Coast Guard said it’s unclear what led to the collision. The U.S. Coast Guard is leading an investigation.

Contact Information