Alaska Digest

Wire reports

Posted: Thursday, May 05, 2005

Gun found on ferry; passenger missing

KODIAK - A gun and some blood were found Wednesday on the aft deck of the state ferry Tustumena and a missing passenger has been identified.

Alaska State Troopers said the name of the missing Anchorage man was being withheld until family in the Pacific Northwest could be contacted.

Officials on board the ferry discovered the gun and blood during the early morning hours, troopers said.

When the Tustumena, with about 60 ticketed passengers aboard, docked at Kodiak at about 8:20 a.m. it was met by three troopers, members of the Coast Guard and investigators with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation in Anchorage.

"Our first thing was to try to identify who may be missing," said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Passengers were told to stay on the ferry while a roll call of the ship's manifest was conducted, he said. Passengers were asked to present identification.

"That was how we came upon our missing person," Wilkinson said.

Sixteen passengers getting off at Kodiak were cleared and allowed to leave.

The Coast Guard in Kodiak launched a C-130 plane and H-60 Jayhawk helicopter to fly the ferry route to look for anything floating in the water.

The Tustumena left Seward and stopped in Seldovia and Homer before proceeding to Kodiak. The man apparently got on the ferry in Homer.

Wilkinson said until a body is found the man will remain a missing person.

Troopers don't suspect foul play. Suicide, however, is a possibility.

Salvagers raise boat in which man drowned

SITKA - Sitka police are trying to determine how a man drowned in a boating accident at a city harbor.

Salvagers on Tuesday finished raising wreckage of the 42-foot Sefora, which slammed into a dock and another vessel last week.

Larry Mark Judy, 38, was on board when the vessel sank. He was pronounced dead at Sitka Community Hospital around 3:30 p.m. Friday after efforts to revive him failed, said Detective Jeremy Hough.

A second man on board the Sefora, a wooden double-ended troller, was rescued. Richard D. Haglin, 39, was pulled out of the water and treated for minor injuries, police said.

Witnesses told police that Haglin's fishing boat entered New Thomsen at high speed, turned right and ran into a transient float.

The boat came hard astern and struck the fishing boat Sunrise moored at the end of the opposite float.

Haglin told police that the back deck of his vessel was split open and the boat sank quickly, with Haglin and Judy in the wheelhouse.

Haglin was able to get out on his own but Judy was not.

Rescue divers pulled Judy from the sunken vessel, Detective Hough said.

Emergency medical technicians from the Sitka Fire Department tried to revive Judy using CPR as he was taken by ambulance to Sitka Community Hospital, police said.

Hough said an X-ray of Judy's chest revealed the cause of death to be drowning.

Police were told that the two men were friends and lived on the Sefora on the transient float. They had taken the vessel out for a day of pleasure boating in the Sam Sing Cove area.

Man steals nearly $70,000 in antlers

KENAI - Just call him the antler bandit.

Police arrested a man in connection with the theft of nearly $70,000 in moose, caribou and elk antlers stolen from a Soldotna home.

The man's name was being withheld pending charges being filed with the Kenai District Attorney.

Police said the antlers were being stored in a 40-foot Conex container at the residence while the owner was in Cordova working on his commercial fishing boat. It looks like sometime during the past four months, the suspect has been hauling away truckloads of the antlers and selling them to area carvers and gift shops, police said.

A friend of the owner noticed the door to the Conex container open on Sunday and saw that much of its contents were gone. He contacted the owner in Cordova, who took the ferry home Monday and contacted police.

Soldotna Police Sgt. Tod McGillivray questioned neighbors who reported seeing the suspect taking the antlers in as many as four trips in one day. However, the neighbors did not suspect anything until police began asking questions.

McGillivray said the suspect and the owner had been friends several years ago.

The 45-year-old owner had been collecting the antlers, some found as seasonal dropped specimens and some harvested through hunting, in hopes of carving them as a retirement vocation in years to come, McGillivray said.

Through interviews with the suspect, McGillivray has been able to recover about one-fourth of the antlers as of Tuesday afternoon and expects to recover more, he said.

The owner's house also had been burglarized, according to McGillivray, and a TV, stereo, a rifle and a pistol were reported missing.

Opening statements in Greenpeace trial

KETCHIKAN - Greenpeace made a "business decision" to ignore a state agency's order for its ship to remain anchored until marine fuel spill laws were followed, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

The environmental group, the captain of a ship it leased and the ship's agent are charged with misdemeanor criminal counts of operating a vessel without a spill contingency plan or proof of financial responsibility in case of a spill, as required by state law.

Greenpeace, Capt. Arne Sornenson and ship agent Willem Beekman have pleaded innocent to operating the nearly 1,000-ton motor yacht Arctic Sunrise without the plan and proof of financial responsibility.

In his opening statement prosecutor James Fayette said the ship, which carries up to 75,000 gallons of petroleum products, was in a rush to get to publicity events elsewhere when the Department of Environmental Conservation demanded that it stay until its regulatory paperwork was in order.



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