Kayaker found in Fords Terror

Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2000

A missing Juneau kayaker was found in Endicott Arm about 8 a.m. today by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The man, 41, was reported missing by his two kayaking companions about midnight while they were touring Endicott Arm, near Tracy Arm, 44 miles southeast of Juneau.

``Three kayakers were paddling from the mouth of Endicott Arm toward Fords Terror,'' said Coast Guard pilot Rich MacIntyre of Air Station Sitka.

``They started Monday afternoon, and sometime in the evening the slower kayaker fell behind and eventually got out of sight. The other two turned around to look for him. In the dark they must have passed each other, because the paddler who was missing ended up at the mouth of Fords Terror,'' MacIntyre said.

The Coast Guard sent out a 47-foot vessel from Juneau to search, and MacIntyre and his helicopter crew checked the shoreline after completing another search for survivors of a boat that burned to the waterline in Swanson Harbor.

``We found him about 8 this morning,'' MacIntyre said.

Fords Terror, an estuary at the terminus of Brown Glacier, is a particularly dangerous area of Endicott Arm, said longtime local kayaker Skip Gray, past vice president of the Juneau Kayak Club.

Where it narrows, Fords Terror can be blocked with calving ice.

``There are icebergs there, and if a kayaker got too close to one, and it rolled or broke, it could be a danger,'' Gray said. ``Fords Terror forms standing waves and makes a kind of river -- a current that runs faster than you can paddle.`

Coast Guard information officer Darrell Wilson did not know if the kayakers had been reunited, and had no names available.

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