Local News

Float plane crash victim recovered from steep mountainside

Alaska State Troopers and other rescuers Wednesday recovered the body of a Santa Fe man killed in Tuesday’s float plane crash near Petersburg.

Troopers have also released photographs of the crash site, showing the wrecked Pacific Wings deHavilland Beaver hanging on a steep hillside about 1000 feet up a mountain on the mainland near LeConte Bay.

Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Troopers

66-year-old Thomas L. Rising of Santa Fe, New Mexico was killed in the crash. He and five others were passengers on the cruise ship Sea Bird, on an Alaska cruise offered by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Those five, along with the pilot, survived the crash and were rescued from the site Tuesday evening.

An article in Duke Today, the online news site for Duke University in Durham, North Carolina reported Wednesday that the flight was part of an optional tour as part of the Duke Alumni Travel program and that a family including four Duke alumni and one current student were the other passengers in the crash. The article names those passengers as Reverend Frank Allen, wife Amy and their three sons Will, Rob and Ben. Amy and Ben Allen were medevaced to Seattle for surgeries following the crash while the other three were treated and released from Petersburg Medical Center. Another 22 Duke alumni were on the cruise. The Duke Today article quotes law professor Thomas Metzloff, also on the trip, saying that it is “simply a miracle that they survived.”

Meanwhile, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic released a statement Wednesday saying the companies are deeply saddened by this tragedy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people involved in this accident and their families,” the statement says.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board is in Petersburg this week compiling a report on the crash.

Photo courtesy of the Alaska State Troopers

Recent News

Southeast Conference looks at several models for reformed ferry system

Alaska Department of Transportation deputy commissioner Mike Neussl addresses the Southeast Conference annual meeting September 21, 2016.
Business and community leaders in Southeast Alaska are looking into how other ferry systems are operated around the world and a different way of managing Alaska’s ferries. The annual meeting of Southeast Conference in Petersburg in September focused on the first steps of a project to reform the state ferry system, find efficiencies and keep ferries running between coastal communities despite the state’s budget crisis. more

Mallott discusses Mental Health logging, BC mines

byronmallotSEconf5
Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott was the keynote speaker at this week’s annual meeting of Southeast Conference in Petersburg. During his speech Wednesday, September 21, Mallott addressed climate change and fisheries, this year’s failed pink salmon runs, mining concerns on the transboundary rivers in Southeast Alaska, the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and the Alaska Marine Highway System. Joe Viechnicki spoke with Mallott Tuesday about some of those topics, along with logging of Alaska Mental Health Trust Land near Petersburg. more