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Local tugs save boat from sinking
JUNEAU -- Two local tug boat crews helped save a sinking boat Wednesday afternoon near Point Retreat.
Two people aboard the 24-foot pleasure boat After You were fishing near Point Retreat, 20 miles northwest of Juneau, when they noticed water pouring into the vessel's engine compartment. The skipper radioed the Coast Guard for help at 12:10 p.m. Coast Guard Station Juneau launched its 41-foot rescue boat from its base downtown, as well as a 25-foot boat from Auke Bay. The Coast Guard also radioed a request for any vessels in the area to help the ship until the Coast Guard could arrive.
The tugs Cape Argo and Ardie responded to the distress call. The Ardie's crew used their de-watering pump to remove water from the After You. They had the flooding under control by the time the Auke Bay Coast Guard boat arrived on scene. The After You was then escorted to Auke Bay. There were no injuries.
Freshwater king salmon fishing starts
JUNEAU -- All freshwater drainages crossed by the Juneau road system were opened today to king salmon fishing, the state announced. The harvest is expected to be returning hatchery kings that weren't needed for brood stock.
The daily bag and possession limit in these freshwater areas is four kings, of which no more than three may be 28 inches or more in length.
Two recently imposed restrictions on nonresident anglers do not apply in the freshwater areas: King salmon taken in these waters by nonresidents do not count toward their annual limit of two kings, and nonresidents may keep kings from these waters on Wednesdays during June and July.
These regulations will be in effect through Sept. 30.
About 500 kings are expected to return to Fish Creek Pond on Douglas Island. The state is allowing anglers at the pond to use bait, keep salmon hooked elsewhere than in the mouth, and use weighted hooks and lures and multiple hooks with a gap between the point and shank larger than one-half inch.
The use of bait is prohibited in all other freshwater drainages crossed by the road system from Nov. 16 through Sept. 14, except for Twin Lakes, where bait is allowed throughout the year.
For more information, call the Department of Fish and Game at 465-4320.
Anchorage limits public smoking
ANCHORAGE -- Lighting up in most public places will soon be a no-no in Anchorage.
The Anchorage Assembly approved a measure Tuesday that will make smoking illegal starting at the end of the year. The ordinance outlaws smoking in restaurants, sports arenas, apartment lobbies and bowling allies, but allows people to light up in bars.
The Assembly's 9-2 decision came after a nine-month effort by anti-smoking activists, led by the Smokefree Anchorage Coalition. The group sent out e-mail, lobbied Assembly members and drew on medical experts to make its case.
Bodies recovered from McKinley crash
ANCHORAGE -- As friends and family members struggled with their grief, the bodies of a pilot and three mountaineering rangers were recovered Wednesday from the site of a plane crash near Mount McKinley.
A group that included the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and a National Park Service ranger recovered the bodies at about 5:15 p.m, said National Park Service spokeswoman Jane Tranel. The bodies were flown to Anchorage.
The crash Monday killed Hudson Air chief pilot Don Bowers, 52; National Park Service Ranger Cale Schaffer, 25; and volunteer rangers Brian Reagan, 27, and Adam Kolff, 27.