Coast Guard IDs Juneau mariner

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2007

The U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday released the name of a Juneau man who ran his boat aground Tuesday morning near Eldred Rock in Lynn Canal, spurring a rescue by the ferry LeConte.

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Clifford Larue, 54, of Juneau was found aboard his boat Irish Spring, which was fully grounded, according to Chief Petty Officer Kurt Fredrickson, spokesman for the Coast Guard in Kodiak.

A mate aboard the LeConte, part of the Alaska Marine Highway System fleet, initially spotted Larue's boat on the beach during his morning watch.

"It was amazing that the mate spotted the grounded boat," said Mike Chambers, spokesman for the Department of Transportation.

From that distance the Irish Spring would have appeared as a speck on the rocks, Chambers said.

Larue was injured as a result of the grounding. Chambers could not explain the nature of his injuries beyond saying that Larue was conscious but unable to stand when the rescue boat reached him.

"His injuries were not life-threatening," Fredrickson said.

The Coast Guard was unaware of what caused the 34-foot pleasure craft to run aground.

The LeConte called for Coast Guard assistance, and a 25-foot response boat was launched from Juneau along with a helicopter from Sitka. Both crews assisted at the site 52 miles northwest of Juneau.

Fredrickson said a ground crew loaded Larue into a basket lowered from the rescue helicopter. He was flown to Juneau and a waiting ambulance for transport to Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Michel Casey, spokesperson for Bartlett, said Thursday that Larue was no longer in the hospital.

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