I applaud the community of Haines and the fishing fleet for their cooperation over the past few days. Don Axelson and his crew kept what could have been a far worse community or area tragedy to the minimum. Fred Gray and his Delta Western crew responded quickly, and we successfully deployed the boom. The fishing fleet was available and understanding throughout the process of figuring out how to deal with the oil containment and clean up.

I admire the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, SEAPRO and the U.S. Coast Guard for their expediency that allowed our fishing fleet to get out of the harbor and participate in this week’s salmon opener. I appreciate that harbor officer Mark Allen worked hard for almost 24 hours straight without complaint or loss of enthusiasm. Last, I heartily acknowledge that Margaret Freidenauer and KHNS informed the community and proved, once again, the value of local radio.

Thank you to all of you mentioned here and also to those not mentioned. The people of Haines who lent helping hands and words of encouragement are too many to list.

Phil Benner

Haines harbormaster