TREE LIGHTING – Sitkans gather next to a decorated spruce tree across from City Hall Saturday. Scores turned out for the Chamber of Commerce’s holiday celebration that included caroling, a tree lighting hosted by Mrs. Santa Claus, and remarks by Chamber of Commerce member Loren Olsen and City Administrator John Leach encouraging people to shop in town during the holiday season. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

C.G. Rescues 2 Stranded Near Haines

By Sentinel Staff

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter rescued two stranded, hypothermic mine workers Saturday on the Tsirku River, 23 miles north of Haines, the Coast Guard said today.

The two men became stranded Friday afternoon when their vessel swamped and became submerged as they were transferring mining equipment in a remote section of the property. 

The Coast Guard said the two made a shelter in a ditch about 250 yards from the water, but were having difficulty maintaining their fire and became hypothermic.

Alaska State Troopers called for the Coast Guard to rescue the men Saturday morning. They were picked up and flown to Juneau. Both were “mildly hypothermic” at the time of the transfer.


The Coast Guard commented in a news release:

“This is one of those cases that reminds us how important it is to prepare for any outdoor activity here in Alaska,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Dave Hastings, an avionics electrical technician on the case. “Having the proper equipment and clothing was their saving grace in this situation. Despite the degraded weather, we were still able to communicate and triumph over the severe winter weather.”


At the time of the rescue, winds were blowing over 20 mph, temperatures were low with freezing conditions, and visibility was low.

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 12-3-21)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 10:21 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 312

Total statewide – 146,558

Total (cumulative) deaths – 853

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,117

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 13 new resident COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 152.52 per 100,000 population. Case statistics are as of Thursday.

New cases in Sitka – 2

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,142

Cumulative non-resident cases – 102

Unique positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 11/26/21 – 1,266

Deceased (cumulative) – 5

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

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December 2001

Photo caption: Cathy Hanson shovels snow off the sidewalk in front of Russell’s today. What started as a few flakes Monday evening had mounted to an estimated half-foot by noon today. More was forecast but rain is possible Wednesday.

December 1971 

Several fish fatalities resulted Monday night when a car apparently went out of control, ran off Halibut Point Road and slammed into the rear of Sitka Petland Store. Vibrations shattered fish tanks, and several hundred dollars worth of tropical fish were casualties.