Alaska politicians and lawmakers united Monday in prayer and well wishes for former Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, who was rescued Monday after falling out of his boat Sunday evening near Auke Bay and spending the night on Coghlan Island.
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Gov. Sarah Palin issued a statement saying she was relieved by the reports of his rescue.
"Our prayers were answered today," Palin said. "My thoughts are with Bruce and his family as he recovers from this ordeal."
Members of the state Senate were on the floor Monday morning when Sen. President Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, announced Weyhrauch, a Juneau Republican, had been found. Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, said that's when he learned his friend and former colleague was alive.
"It was like a cloud had lifted ... when you made that announcement," Elton told Green.
Elton said Weyhrauch was a Scout leader, one of many ways in which he served his family and community.
"I'm sure the training that he helped give them is the same kind of training that helped him get through a very difficult time," Elton said.
House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, began the regular Monday morning meeting with reporters by offering a prayer for his former colleague and hopes for a successful search.
Elton said everyone throughout the Capitol was offering similar prayers.
"I'd like to think our hopes and prayers that had been offered last night and this morning had consequences," Elton said.
Pat Forgey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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