Last Dance

Sitka Fine Arts Camp elementary age campers dance with instructor Brendan Jones in their final day of camp today at the Sheldon Jackson College Campus. Middle School Camp, for grades seven thru nine, begins Monday. Registration is still open at 907-747-3085. (Sentinel Photo by Klas Stolpe)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Sunken Boat Tow Set For Saturday


Sentinel Staff Writer

The Coast Guard and the Sitka marine salvage company Hanson Maritime said today that plans are to raise a 30-foot boat Saturday from the waters of Sitka Sound where it sank five days ago with four charter fishing clients and the boat captain on board.

Bodies of three of the charter passengers have been recovered, but the fourth, along with the boat captain, are still missing, authorities said.

The boat, named Awakin, was reported overdue from a day fishing charter Sunday evening. A Coast Guard helicopter was launched for a search and located the boat, submerged except for a portion of the bow, about 7 p.m. Sunday. The Coast Guard recovered the body of one of the passengers Sunday, and two others were recovered from the sunken boat on Wednesday.

The boat has remained submerged near the location where it was found, in weather and sea conditions that have made it difficult and dangerous to secure, authorities said. 

Hanson Maritime has been hired to conduct salvage operations, including raising the boat and towing it back to town. The area where the boat sank, on the east side of Low Island, is a shallow reef area.

“Even if there is not wind, there is surge caused by ocean swells,” said Lee Hanson, owner of Hanson Maritime. The boat is in constant motion, and not safe to approach, he said.

The boat anchor is marked with a buoy, but it is about 150 feet away from where the boat is sitting in 30 feet of water. Hanson Maritime repositioned the boat from a mostly vertical position to lie flat on the ocean floor, where it is submerged. That allowed divers to enter the vessel to locate and recover two of the bodies.

Hanson said he plans to use his main salvage vessel, the 66-foot tug Salvation, as well the 28-foot work boat Steadfast for the salvage operation. A three-person dive team will work with a support crew on the accompanying boats as the salvaged boat is towed to a location where it will be accessible to investigators from the Troopers and the Coast Guard.

The National Weather Service forecast for Saturday is relatively light winds, but variable from all directions on the southeast end of Kruzof Island, where the accident occurred. A team of investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard in Juneau has been sent to Sitka.

A preliminary investigation by the Coast Guard has determined the sinking “is to be considered a significant marine casualty,” according to policies and procedures, the Coast Guard said today.

“The Coast Guard has commenced an enhanced investigation into the incident with the goal to determine the timeline and cause of the incident and provide necessary feedback, primarily through its conclusions and recommendations, to prevent similar accidents and casualties from occurring in the future,” said Coast Guard spokesman Ian Gray, in an email.

The bodies of the man and two women that have been recovered have been identified as Maury Agcaoili, 57, of Waipahu, Hawaii; Danielle Agcaoili, 53, of Waipahu, Hawaii; and Brandi Tyau, 56, of Canoga Park, California. Robert Solis, 61, of Canoga Park, California, and boat captain Morgan Robidou, 32, of Sitka are missing.

The Coast Guard suspended the search Monday night after a 20-hour search effort that covered a 825 square mile area. It involved the Coast Guard helicopters and vessels, Alaska State Troopers, the fire department search and rescue and dive teams, and NOAA law enforcement.




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June 2004 

Advertisement: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Caring Employee of the month! Franklin Thomas Hospital Nutrition Services.


June 1974

Edna Revard is enjoying a much-deserved vacation: she and youngest son Joe are in Italy visiting her older son, Jack, his wife and child. Jack is with the military, stationed in Italy. Edna will be gone a month, the crew at Revard’s Restaurant says.


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