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Rescuers search for missing Ketchikan man


November 05, 2004

Ketchikan, Alaska - Rescuers searched Thursday for a 42-year-old man from Ketchikan who was swept away in the current at Bakewell Creek approximately 35 miles East of Ketchikan at the head of Smeaton Bay.

According to information released by the USCG and the Alaska State Troopers, Forest Service fisheries biologist Ricardo Sainz of Ketchikan and two other USFS employees were rowing in a 14 foot skiff across Bakewell Lake. It was reported by the AST that all three jumped into the water when the skiff was overcome by a strong current created by the Bakewell Lake Creek drainage which leads to a 50 to 60 foot waterfall prior to spilling into the salt water. Sainz was swept away by the current.

jpg Bakewell Creek current

The strong current of Bakewell Creek is depicted in this photograph...
Official U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Zephyr Mays, Air Station Sitka

The Forest Service employees working with Sainz used their VHF-FM radio to notify search and rescue coordinators of the incident, and began to search for Sainz along the creek. A rescue effort conducted by the Alaska State Troopers, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Forest Service and the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad went underway immediately and continued until dark Thursday with negative results.

Ketchikan's weather Thursday had an air temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit,  five miles of visibility with misting rain and calm winds.

A United States Coast Guard 110 foot vessel along with a Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad 41 foot vessel will remain in the area overnight. The search is scheduled to continue at first light Friday. Next of kin have been notified.


Sources of News:

Alaska State Troopers
Web Site

United States Coast Guard
Web Site


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