Thanks to Greens Creek employees, Coast Guard

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2008

My wife and I would like to thank the employees of the Hecla Greens Creek Mine and the U.S. Coast Guard for all their help in keeping our boat from sinking at the end of July.

While fishing at the mouth of Hawk Inlet, we experienced an equipment failure and our engine compartment started to fill with water. Despite all of our pumps running and two hand pumps going, we were unable to keep up with the emergency. Our first call was a mayday to the Coast Guard, but with the distance they had to travel it appeared we were going to lose our boat. We had many friends that stood by and offered to do anything we needed if they could reach us in time.

A Greens Creek employee and mine dog Elsie who heard our call quickly pulled alongside, assessed the situation, and called for help from his fellow miners; more pumps and help quickly arrived. With Jeff Swanson in our engine compartment and pumps running, we were able to move our boat to the Greens Creek Mine site. Once at the Greens Creek Mine site, several miners worked diligently for many hours on our boat and repaired it well enough to return home the next morning. The Coast Guard stood by to assist if needed while the work was done.

The assistance provided to us was beyond our wildest imagination and the positive attitude of all of those who helped was and is greatly appreciated. Our thanks go out to both the Coast Guard and especially to the Hecla Greens Creek Mine and the wonderful miners who kept us going when we thought all was lost.

Special thanks to the following men who truly gave their all to help strangers in need: Jeff Swanson, Chuck Willis, Ken Stubbs, Mark Tatlow, Terry Maxwell, Bobby Hicks, Don Dillan, Leroy Jack, Steve Bodery, Todd, Jack, Doug and Kris Hildre. We know there were others and want them to know that they are important to us and we thank them as well. As we have repeated our story, we hear the same thing over and over again: "This could only happen in Alaska where we all work together to help each other in good and bad times." Thanks again and God Bless!

Dennis and Chloie Watson and Adanac IV


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