Sefton Reid 06-27-09

Salmon fisherman drowns near Ketchikan

Anchorage Daily News, Published: June 27th, 2009

A king salmon fisherman drowned Saturday morning off Ketchikan after trying to retrieve a lure and then apparently becoming exhausted while struggling in the rough surf of Herring Cove, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and witnesses.

A Ketchikan Fire Department diver later recovered the body. Thomas Carella of the Coast Guard said the man's identity is not being released until next of kin are notified.

Jim Lavrakas, who was fishing near the man, said the fisherman waded into the water to retrieve his lure that had become snagged on a buoy about 200 feet offshore. The man reached the buoy but then began struggling to get back to shore.

Lavrakas said he tried to wade out to help the man but was himself quickly into deep water. He said the man kept appearing and disappearing from views among the waves and troughs of the surf.

Lavrakas said he saw the man trying to swim, but instead of heading toward shore was moving parallel to shore. Then he vanished.

Coast Guardsman who drowned near Ketchikan identified

Anchorage Daily News, Published: June 28th, 2009

The Ketchikan fisherman who drowned Saturday trying to retrieve a lure was a Coast Guardsman with 11 years service, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard identified the man as Petty Officer First Class Sefton Reid, 31. The Ketchikan Fire Department recovered his body in Herring Cove, about eight miles south of Ketchikan, around 12:15 p.m. Saturday.

"While our minds are on the mission, our hearts are with his family," Rear Adm. Gene Brooks, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, said in a written statement. "This is a sad day for the Coast Guard. He was a good shipmate and will be missed."

Reid was fishing from shore in Herring Cove when his lure snagged on a buoy maybe 200 feet offshore. He waded in to retrieve it and reached the buoy, but then began to struggle in the rough surf, according to a witness, Jim Lavrakas, who was fishing nearby.

Lavrakas said he tried to wade in to help but was quickly into deep water. The man tried to swim, but vanished in the waves.

Crews from the Ketchikan Fire Department, the Coast Guard station in Ketchikan and a commercial diving boat launched immediately after receiving the report. The divers found Reid.

Reid was assigned to Station Ketchikan for the past year. He leaves behind four children.

Coast Guardsmen hold memorial for shipmate who died fishing

The Associated Press, Published: July 2nd, 2009

KETCHIKAN -- Shipmates of Petty Officer 1st Class Sefton Reid tossed flowers in the water following Thursday's memorial service for the Coast Guardsman who died while fishing south of Ketchikan last week.

A Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted a fly-by after the service attended by members of the Coast Guard and the community.

The 31-year-old left behind four children. His father, Mark Reid, broke into tears during the singing of "Amazing Grace."

Reid's family will hold an additional memorial later this month in Jamaica.