Report: AMHS ferry causes skiff to capsize near Petersburg

    The M/V Columbia.

    Wrangell, Alaska (KINY) - A wake from the Alaska state ferry Columbia caused a small skiff to capsize last weekend in the Wrangell Narrows near Petersburg.

    According to the POW Report blog, the event happened Sunday, Aug. 11 at about 7:30 p.m. Three people in the skiff were rescued by a nearby boat before the ferry’s lifeboat reached the scene.

    No injuries have been reported to the state, and the water was apparently shallow enough to stand in.

    Alaska Department of Transportation spokesperson Aurah Landau says events like this one are uncommon. She says the crew on the ferry witnessed the incident while on routine watch duty.

    “The Marine Highway System has crew on watch at all times while underway to keep a proper lookout and has even more diligence in a narrow channel like the Wrangell Narrows,” Landau said. “The crew member saw it happen and immediately reported it to the bridge.”

    Landau says the Columbia launched a lifeboat and reported the incident to the Coast Guard. She says AMHS is continuing to work with the Coast Guard to investigate the incident.

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