State ferry LeConte rescues six men from overturned skiff

The LeConte state ferry recently rescued six men that were stranded in the water.

Last Thursday afternoon, the LeConte was returning from Gustavus to Juneau. Department of Transportation spokesman Jeremy Woodrow said as the ferry was going around Point Couverden near Rocky Island, “One of the crew in the bridge of the ferry noticed there was a skiff that was overturned and individuals that needed rescuing. They deployed one of their life boats and were able to rescue the individuals that were in the water.”

The LeConte state ferry launches a lifeboat to rescue six men from an overturned skiff. (Photo courtesy Janet Neilson)
The LeConte state ferry launches a lifeboat to rescue six men from an overturned skiff. (Photo courtesy Janet Neilson)

A passenger on the ferry, Janet Neilson, captured video of part of the rescue.

Woodrow said the rescue slowed the ferry down, but didn’t put passengers too far off the anticipated arrival time.

“It’s fortunate that the ferry was there at that time. I’m not sure what the outcome would’ve been otherwise. Seems that the ferry system is involved in one or two rescues across Alaska’s waters every year,” Woodrow said.

Last year, the Alaska ferry Tustumena helped tow a fishing vessel to safety. On another occasion, the Malaspina rescued a Canadian fisherman who was on board a sunken vessel.