SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Ketchikan Heroes
By Janice Jackson


May 31, 2006

Yesterday the airport ferry I was on stopped short of the gangplank on the airport side. All of us on board looked around wondering why we stopped. There in the Narrows was a skiff going around and around in circles by itself, with the boater floating nearby in the water.

With each circle the boat was getting closer and closer to hitting the man in the water. It was clear to all of us that he was struggling to stay afloat. Our airport ferry headed over towards the boater, but we couldn t maneuver very close with the heavy load we had on board.

I felt helpless to do anything, so I started praying like crazy, Lord, please help him, don t let him drown. My guess is that others on the ferry were praying too.

Meanwhile, Carl Webb, who was on board the ferry, took the life ring and hurled it out to our boater, and landed it right next to him. I believe that was our boater's saving grace; he grabbed it, and was able to stay afloat.

Just after that, a small fishing boat arrived and two crew members grabbed our boater by the neck of his coat. However, it appeared that his coat was waterlogged and they could not lift him into the boat. The skipper then backed his boat over to the Taquan dock where the Coast Guard arrived to transport him to the hospital.

All of this happened in a matter of a few minutes and it was very scary to watch.

I just wanted to point out what actually happened before the Coast Guard arrived and to say thank you to our local heroes for doing the right thing at the right time.

I thank God for living here in a caring community, where fast-acting people who care made a big difference to someone who needed help fast.

Janice Jackson
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Janice Jackson is a resident of Ketchikan who realizes that it is the people who live here that drew her husband Richard and her back to live in this community.



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