25-Year-Old Rescued After Fishing Boat Sinks

One man is reported safe after his fishing boat sank in Lynn Canal on Sunday night.

Twenty-five-year-old Woody Paul of Haines was rescued by another fishing boat in William Henry Bay north of Juneau after his boat the 36-foot, Kyra Dawn began taking on water and then capsized.

The boat sank in about 900 feet of water about a mile from shore, according to the Coast Guard. Paul was rescued by another Haines fishing boat, the Gabriella.

Paul’s mother, Carol, was able to speak to her son Monday morning from the Gabriella, she said. He told her he went into the water as the boat sank but was able to hang onto the roof of his bait shed. He didn’t have time to put on a survival suit, but was holding on to one. He was in the water about five minutes before being rescued.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Wesley Shipley, watchstander at Sector Juneau, says they were preparing to send an H-60 helicopter from Sitka when the Kyra Dawn initially reported trouble.

But they canceled the flight when they received a report that Paul was rescued.

The Coast Guard prevention unit is investigating the sinking.

A gale was forecasted for Sunday night in Lynn Canal, which led many fishermen to anchor early. But Haines fisherman Norm Hughes, who was headed for anchorage when the Kyra Dawn sank, said the weather kicked up faster than expected.

“I was about a mile out of Mab Island anchorage and you could see this black line on the horizon, coming across up the channel and it was topped with all these white caps. That’s a weather event coming your way. And I didn’t make the anchorage before it hit and it went from one-footers to five-footers in 20 seconds.”

Seven-foot seas were reported and wind gusts at Eldred Rock Lighthouse reached 71 knots according to the National Weather Service.