Petersburg Pilot -

Vessel collides with boat fishing for herring

 

A local Boston Whaler vessel crashed into a Hewescraft belonging to Island Point Lodge in the Wrangell Narrows in front of Trident Seafoods and OBI Seafoods on Wednesday morning, resulting in at least two injuries, according to two eyewitnesses.

Al Domon and Joe Pang, two fishermen from California staying at the Green Rocks Lodge, said between 8:45 and 9:15 A.M. on Wednesday, the Boston Whaler was headed south into the Wrangell Narrows in the direction of Petersburg Harbor. The Boston Whaler was moving at around 20 MPH directly towards a group of about six sport fishing boats which were in the area fishing for herring, according to the two fishermen.

“They were coming in hot,” said Domon who was onboard a Green Rocks Lodge vessel. “I yelled at him just because there was all these boats in close proximity all around. He was just making a beeline. He never seen [the Hewescraft]”

The two witnesses believe the driver of the Boston Whaler to be Richard Sprague, who owns the vessel. According to Lexie Preston, a public affairs specialist with United States Coast Guard, the Alaska State Troopers are investigating the incident, though state troopers did not immediately respond to questions regarding the crash.

Both Domon and Pang said they don’t believe Sprague saw the fishing boats because the bow of his boat was too high up. There were about three people sitting at the front of the Boston Whaler, but they were facing the stern, said the witnesses.

They said the Boston Whaler slammed into the stern of the Hewescraft from its left side, severely damaging the boat’s outboard motor. Additionally, the bow of the Boston Whaler ran onto the Island Point Lodge boat. The two witnesses said they didn’t see anyone get thrown into the water as a result of the incident, but they did see two people who were onboard the Boston Whaler laying on an OBI Seafood dock, waiting for medical attention shortly afterwards.

“There’s no rhyme or reason, because you got a bunch of boats right in front of you,” said Pang of the incident.

 

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