Volunteers Help Rescue Flight 261 Mementos

The rains that drenched the region for much of the month threatened to wash away the mementos left on a beach to honor the 88 people who died in the Jan. 31 crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261.

So earlier this month, Police Chief Steve Campbell led a contingent of volunteers, including his son and daughter, to collect and shelter the mementos from the rainy weather and high tides.

‘There were kids who left letters in watercolors, there were prayers written by strangers, there were floral arrangements and other precious items. It was extremely touching and very thoughtful,” Campbell said.

The Port Hueneme beach area has been closed since the accident, but mourners have continued to visit the nearby pier to express their sorrow.


Many have left flowers, cards, crosses and personal letters that Campbell said evoked tears from the city officials and volunteers who have visited the site daily.

“The tributes were beginning to show the wear from being out in the weather,” Port Hueneme Mayor Murray Rosebush said. “To do honor to those who lost their lives, it is time to begin removing the numerous items before the elements damage them too severely.”

For now, the mementos will be kept at the Port Hueneme police station.