Rebuilding broken trust

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2001

To the Demmert family of Angoon who lost a loved one and is still grieving. I would like to apologize for the way things were handled aboard the M/V Aurora in your time of grief. I am a deck officer who works both crews of the M/V Leconte. We are the ones who normally service Angoon and would have been doing so during this sad time if we were not late coming out of the yard period in Ketchikan. I am positive this incredible act of callousness would not have happened aboard the M/V Leconte.

Every crew member that I have talked to was sickened and embarrassed by the ... (actions) of Capt. Gambacorta in your time of need. Our captains and both crews of the M/V Leconte realize that the ferry service needs of Angoon, Hoonah, Kake and Tenakee are the bread and butter of our schedule and the main reason for our existence. We are a small ferry with small crews serving small communities. So, over the course of time we have gotten to know the passengers and their children and we are proud to deliver them to their destinations and back home safely. You get to feel like family seeing the same faces year in and out traveling through the stormy seas, black nights of winter and the occasional sunny day, flat calm waters of summer.

Some of our crew was told by family members my last work week that there was still no apology given to the family. I cannot speak for or apologize for Capt. Gambacorta nor would I want to. He has to live with himself. Yet, I cannot let him represent myself or the other dedicated employees who work throughout the fleet of the marine highway. I hope this letter of apology will help start to rebuild the trust that was broken and took so long to build with the communities of Southeast Alaska.

Brian McCarthy, 2/mate

M/V Leconte

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