State Briefs

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2002

USCG responds to flooding vessel

JUNEAU - Coast Guard rescue crews responded this morning to a 134-foot fish processing vessel with 25 people on board that was taking on water east of Kodiak.

The Coast Guard communication center in Kodiak received an urgent distress call from the fishing vessel Legacy at about 8 a.m. reporting it was taking on water. Crewmembers were using dewatering pumps to try to control the flooding.

Two Coast Guard Kodiak-based rescue helicopter crews and a C-130 aircrew were on scene with the Legacy by 9:30 a.m. Rescuers delivered additional dewatering pumps to help control the flooding, and the water was pumped out by noon. The crew did not have to be removed from the processing ship.

The Cordova-based Coast Guard cutter Sycamore also was responding to the scene. It was expected to arrive by 2 p.m.

The Legacy crew is equipped with two 25-foot life rafts and 36 survival suits. 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel is reported to be on board the Legacy.

Troopers investigate stabbing on ship

JUNEAU - Alaska State Troopers in Ketchikan said today they will begin investigating the Tuesday morning stabbing of a crewman aboard the cruise ship The Radiance of the Sea.

Crewman Dwayne Hunte, 30, of the Island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean, was stabbed several times in the face, head, back arms and hands with a knife blade, allegedly by another crew member from St. Vincent, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

The name of the suspect, 26, will not be released unless charges are filed, he said.

Wilkinson said ship's officers reported the two men had been arguing as the ship sailed between Juneau and Skagway. Around 12:23 a.m. the suspect allegedly pulled a knife and began slashing.

Wilkinson said Hunte was medevaced from the ship Wednesday to Bartlett Regional Hospital, where he is undergoing minor surgery today. Wilkinson said doctors believe part of the knife blade still may be embedded in Hunte's head.

Hospital spokeswoman Marijo Toner said the man is in serious condition.

The suspected stabber was put in the ship's brig, which is equivalent to a jail cell, and is expected to be questioned today by troopers in Ketchikan, Wilkinson said.

The Coast Guard, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the St. Vincent consulate are taking part in the investigation.

DEC OKs Kodiak soil remediation plant

KODIAK - The state Department of Environmental Conservation has approved an application for a soil remediation plant on Kodiak Island despite opposition from residents.

Soil Processing Inc.'s application to install a soil remediation plant near Lake Orbin was approved by DEC last week, said environmental engineer Jim Frechione.

"We felt it met regulations. We had no reason to deny it," he said.

Frechione said local opposition was more a zoning issue than an environmental one.

The final step toward beginning operation was completed Tuesday when the Kodiak Island Borough issued the permit on Brechan Enterprises Inc.'s asphalt site.

The Women's Bay Community Council and many residents in the neighborhood have been opposed to the plant from the start. While the tract where the plant will be located is zoned as industrial, it lies in the middle of a residential area.

"I'm hoping we can prevent it from going through. My house is right over the hill and, personally, I don't want a plant there that's 24 hours a day, seven days a week," council member Casey Janz said.

The council is concerned about the possibility of pollution or an accident.

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