Posted: Monday, July 09, 2001

Trooper saves drowning baby

ANCHORAGE - A state trooper saved the life of a baby after the car she was in went through a guard rail and plunged into the Chena River.

Witnesses said the driver of the car, 25-year-old Annie R. Ketzler, appeared drunk on Friday as she was driving around downtown Fairbanks. Claire Ketzler, 1, was strapped into a child seat next to her mother, police said.

Trooper Larry Erickson was flagged down by a passing motorist who saw Ketzler hit a parked car. Erickson got to the crash scene, and saw a car 20 feet off the bank and a woman stumbling toward him in waist-deep water. Witnesses said a baby was in the car.

Erickson waded into the water and cut the child out of her restraints, pulled her from the car and brought her to shore. She had no pulse. He started breathing air into her lungs and another trooper started compressing her chest to get her heart beating. The pair worked for a minute, but the child still didn't start breathing. Another minute passed, and she convulsed and began breathing. Annie Ketzler was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where she was in satisfactory condition Sunday.

Man lost after boat overturns off Wrangell

ANCHORAGE - A man was lost in the sea off Wrangell on Sunday afternoon when a charter boat capsized while pulling a crab pot, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The man's name was not released, but he was thought to be a passenger, the Coast Guard said.

Five people spilled into the water about 5 p.m. when the 21-foot charter boat Scorpion tipped over about 500 yards off the Wrangell harbor, said Lt. Deborah Darminio of the Coast Guard dispatch center in Juneau.

"The line tangled in the prop, and the boat capsized," she said.

Two people swam to a float dock, but three people, including the missing man, drifted about half a mile away, Darminio said. The man was not wearing a life jacket and pushed away from a companion before going under, he said. Rescuers from the Wrangell Fire Department, a dozen vessels from the harbor, a Cesna 206 and a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Sitka all converged on the scene.

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