Fishing boat hard aground near Sitka; skipper charged

June 11, 2012 

Sitka fisherman William A. Walder, 52, had to be forced by authorities to leave his grounded boat Yankee last week even though the troller was so high and dry it seemed about to topple. KCAW reports troopers charged Walder with reckless endangerment and boating under the influence.

Walder also apparently failed to radio the Coast Guard. A female passenger aboard the Yankee notified a friend via text message that the boat was in trouble. The friend called Coast Guard district command in Juneau, who were mistakenly informed that the distressed vessel was near ANB Harbor, in Sitka's inner channel.

Harbor personnel, and Sitka Search and Rescue captain Don Kluting, went to ANB to look for the Yankee, but found nothing.

"It was at that point that we realized we had an actual search and rescue mission."

They found the Yankee aground on the perhaps aptly named Error Island. Read more -- and see a photo of the grounded Yankee -- at KCAW.

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