Traditional canoe headed for Shakes Island event swamped, recovered, lost again

AnchorageApril 30, 2013 

Eleven paddlers leave the dock at the Starrigavan boat launch in Sitka, Alaska, Thursday, April 25, 2013, on their way to Wrangell, Alaska, a trip of about 300 miles. The paddlers hope to arrive in Wrangell in time for the rededication ceremony of the Shakes Island tribal house on May 4. The city and borough of Wrangell, on its website, said it expects more than 800 people to attend the rededication celebration.

JAMES POULSON / SITKA DAILY SENTINEL — AP

Two of the ceremonial canoes being paddled through the Inside Passage to Wrangell for the rededication of the Shakes Island tribal house this week were lost when they swamped while under tow in rough waters. They were recovered from a beach but then one was lost again, reports KSTK.

Two canoes traveling from Juneau hit bad weather and rough water on Saturday. ... Both [teams] decided to put the paddlers on the support boats and tow the canoes.

... Both the Raven canoe and the Sealaska canoe snapped their tow lines and were washed away. The lost Raven Canoe was spotted on a rocky shore where it had beached itself. It was retrieved safely at about 2pm on Saturday. The Sealaska canoe was found about two hours later.

The plan was to tow both canoes to Kake, where they could be inspected for damage, repaired if necessary, and sent back on their journey. The Raven canoe made it. The Sealaska canoe did not.

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