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
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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