Three Alaska Power and Telephone workers were rescued Monday after their boat ran aground six miles south of Skagway, according to a report from the Alaska State Troopers.

Employees Lance Caldwell, Cory Nelson, and Jordan Frost were returning from winter shut-off work on the Kasidaya hydropower plant around 3:30 p.m when their boat ended up on the rocks. But, Darren Belisle, AP&T’s Power operations manager for Upper Lynn Canal, said it wasn’t their fault.

The unwitting M/V Columbia (AMH

“Our boat captain headed down there to pick ‘em up, and the state ferry was going by at the same time and had a weird wave hit ’em and turn ‘em sideways and got stuck on the beach,” Belisle said.

No one was hurt, but the workers couldn’t free themselves.

 “The boat’s big enough that with the outgoing tide, couldn’t keep up and get it,” he said. “So we just called search and rescue to yank us off the beach.” 

Six rescue volunteers did just that. They got the 26-foot skiff off the rocks, and Nelson, Caldwell, and Frost drove it back to Skagway without incident.

According to the Alaska Marine Highway sailing calendar, the M/V Columbia was on its way from Haines to Skagway around the time of the reported incident. 


Clarification: A previous version of this story said AMH records showed the M/V Columbia was the likely culprit. The ferry schedule shows the boat was sailing through the area at the time of the incident, but the Department of Transportation doesn’t have any records of the incident itself.