State and local briefly

Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2000

Plane has forced landing at Funter Bay

JUNEAU - A small plane made an emergency landing at Funter Bay shortly after noon Saturday.

The Cessna 207, on wheels, was flying for Wings of Alaska. It had to make an emergency landing on the south side of Funter Bay, on the west side of the north end of Admiralty Island, about 12:25 p.m., said Lt. Kevin Dunn of the U.S. Coast Guard.

``The plane ended up in the water, but the three people aboard got safely to the beach,'' Dunn said. There were no injuries.

The Coast Guard immediately sent a boat from Auke Bay and a helicopter from Sitka to the site, but before they could arrive the trio was picked up by a TEMSCO helicopter at 12:48 p.m., Dunn said.

Bob Jacobsen, president of Wings, said the plane departed Juneau en route to Hoonah and picked up two passengers there. However, ``his engine started running so rough he elected to land on the beach at Funter Bay,'' Jacobsen said.

``Before he even set it down, we were on the phone to our friends at TEMSCO,'' Jacobsen said.

The passengers were checked out at the emergency room at Bartlett Regional Hospital and then flown to Hoonah, Jacobsen said.

The incident is under investigation by federal transportation officials.

Ship aground northwest of Yakutat

JUNEAU - A large, ocean-going log ship went aground in Icy Bay late Friday.

``It grounded sometime last night,'' said Danna Carter, secretary for Ben Thomas Inc., the logging company whose product was aboard the ship. ``It's in the middle of the bay; I think it's on a sand bar.''

The 570-foot vessel Pacson, registered in Panama and carrying a Filipino crew, had loaded 40-foot logs with the bark still on. The logs came from the stock at Ben Thomas Inc. at Yakutat. The total cargo is 3 million board feet, headed for Asia.

Coast Guard Command said Saturday afternoon they had a helicopter on the way from Sitka - but it had to be diverted shortly after noon to a plane crash at Funter Bay.

Around 2 p.m. Saturday, two small tugs were still attempting to pull the Pacson free, but having little luck. The Coast Guard expected to arrive on the scene about 3 or 4 p.m. and survey the possibilities of freeing the vessel, or waiting for incoming tide to do the work.

The Pacson is sometimes used for hauling grain. Icy Bay is about 70 miles northwest of Yakutat.

Animal shelter has too many pets

JUNEAU - With 39 cats, 10 kittens and 10 dogs available for adoption, the Gastineau Humane Society is actively seeking homes for its four-legged boarders.

``Although the adoption rate has increased a little bit within the last two months, we still have lots of pets available for adoption,'' said Andrea Peria, supervisor of the animal shelter's front office.

Currently, the humane society is averaging between 10 and 15 adoptions a week, but the shelter is still almost filled to capacity with pets looking for homes.

``We're about three-quarters full right now,'' said Peria. ``We would really like to see a major increase in adoptions.''

The humane society is open from 3-5 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays, 3-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12-6 p.m. on Fridays and 12-5 p.m. on Saturdays. For further information, call 789-0260.

New Ranger for Thorne Bay

JUNEAU - A new district ranger has been named for the Thorne Bay Ranger District on Prince of Wales Island.

Dave Schmid will replace Steve Kimball, who transferred to Vermont in late November. Schmid currently serves as fisheries and watershed staff officer for the Cordova Ranger District of the Chugach National Forest. In his 18 years with the Forest Service, he has worked only in Alaska - with the exception of a summer seasonal position in Minnesota.

He has a degree in forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, with an emphasis in natural resources and fisheries management. He has experience in issues including recreation, minerals, timber, fisheries and watershed management.

``Dave brings his effective leadership and communication skills to this job,'' said Tom Puchlerz, Tongass Forest Supervisor. ``His ability to bring opposing views to the table and end up with acceptable agreements and solutions will be very useful in his job. Dave . . . knows how to motivate people for positive results.''

Schmid, his wife Sandy and 18-month-old daughter Maya will move to Thorne Bay in late April.

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