June 6, 2014

One Dead - Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak aboard a fishing vessel in St. Herman Harbor left one fisherman hospitalized and another dead yesterday.

The Kodiak Police Department and fire and rescue personnel responded to a report of a Freon leak aboard the boat Alpine Cove. Freon is a caustic chemical used in refrigeration systems.

A press release from the police department said five crewmembers were evacuated from the boat and officers provided immediate medical attention until EMS personnel arrived. Two crewmembers were ultimately transported to the hospital where 30-year-old Cody Cecil of Everett, Wash., was pronounced dead.

The other crewmember, 56-year-old Francis Rutten of Snohomish, Wash., is being treated at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center for exposure to Freon.

Nearby vessels were evacuated yesterday by harbormaster staff as a precaution to the chemical release.

A preliminary investigation revealed that repair work was being done to the Alpine Cove on Tuesday night, but it is unclear if that work is related to the Freon leak. The incident is still under investigation by the police department and the Marine Safety Detachment of the U.S. Coast Guard.

May 23, 2014

M/V BADEN Sinks on Launch

During her maiden launch, 85-foot, $10 million M/V BADEN capsized onto her port side and sank. Shallow water prevented a full submersion.

After two years of construction, she was rolled out to the Fidalgo Bay Marina in Anacortes, Washington, christened, and as the launch ramp backed her into the bay, she slowly tipped onto her side in a few feet of water.

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May 23, 2014

S/V CHEEKI RAFIKI

The overturned hull of sailing yacht CHEEKI RAFIKI was discovered about 1,000 miles east of the U.S. northeast coast. The location matches the location of the last beacon transmission from CHEEKI RAFIKI. With 15-foot seas and winds of over 50 knots, the Good Samaritan ship M/V MAERSK KURE was not able to get close enough to confirm the hull as that of CHEEKI RAFIKI. The container ship remained in the area until Sunday night in hope of finding survivors.

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May 19, 2014

Moonlight Maid Sinking report

The National Transportation Safety Board reported on the sinking of the salmon tender Moonlight Maid.

The boat was transiting from Seward to Kodiak in heavy seas on Sept. 20, 2012, when she 'sprung a plank and began flooding,' the report says. The crew of four abandoned ship into a life raft, and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hoisted them to safety.

The NTSB report says 'inadequate maintenance of the aging wooden vessel,' a former Navy subchaser built in 1942, contributed to the hull failure.

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May 16, 2014

Environmental emergency declared

The Ministry of Environment of Ecuador declared an environmental emergency situation in the Galapagos Islands because of the risk of oil leakage and chemicals from the "Galapaface 1" on May 15. The decision was taken after it was found that the contaminated waste may be leaking out at sea and cause a risk to in the fragile ecosystem of the archipelago.

The state of environmental emergency was allowing the government to act quickly and facilitate the acquisition of services to tow the vessel off one week after it grounded at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. While much of the ship's 72,000 liters of fuel has been removed, there still was the risk of sinking with the engine oil and cleaning products that were in the hold of the ship still on board.

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May 13, 2014

Ineffective Mitigating Actions

Richmond, British Columbia, 31 March 2014 - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (M13W0057) into the accident involving the American fishing vessel American Dynasty, a 272-foot factory trawler run by a crew of up to 150 crewmen, that struck the HMCS Winnipeg in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

At 0818 Pacific Daylight Time on 23 April 2013, the American fishing vessel American Dynasty experienced a complete loss of electrical power (blackout) while approaching the graving dock in Esquimalt, British Columbia. The vessel was under the conduct of a docking pilot and was being assisted by 2 tugs at the time. Following the blackout, the American Dynasty gained speed to an estimated 5 knots, veered to starboard, and struck the port side of the HMCS Winnipeg, berthed at the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. There was extensive damage to both vessels and 6 shipyard workers on the HMCS Winnipeg sustained minor injuries.

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April 24, 2014

F/V Fined for Illegal Catch

(CORDOVA, Alaska) - Fishermen's Finest Inc., a Washington based corporation and owner/operator of multiple commercial trawling vessels, pleaded guilty in a Cordova Court yesterday to illegal fishing with Non-Pelagic Trawl gear in state waters that were closed to the use of trawl gear.

An investigation initiated by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers Statewide Wildlife Investigations Unit revealed that on two occasions, in July of 2010 and again in July of 2011, the F/V US Intrepid harvested a total of over 56,000 pounds of lingcod by catch in waters of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska by use of Non-Pelagic Trawl gear during a federal fishery. While a majority of the lingcod was released, 11,000 pounds were retained and sold commercially, running the corporation afoul with state law. The F/V US Intrepid is a 186 foot catcher/processer vessel owned and operated by Fishermen's Finest Inc.

As part of a plea agreement with the State of Alaska, Fishermen's Finest was sentenced to pay a fine of $12,500 and an additional $2,500 suspended with a probationary period of three years. In addition, the company was ordered to forfeit proceeds from the illegally taken catch in an amount of $10,326.

"In just one week, this one vessel illegally harvested approximately 70 percent of the entire lingcod quota for the Super Exclusive Icy Bay Subdistrict Lingcod fishery," said Alaska Wildlife Troopers Sergeant Brent Johnson. "This case highlights the importance of Wildlife Investigations Unit as it was specifically created to investigate these types of high value cases involving commercial users of Alaska's fish and wildlife resources."

April 20, 2014

Ferry Sinks - Korean Tragedy

On April 16, there were 476 people known to be on board SEWOL. According to reports, 339 of these people were high school students from Danwon High School in Ansan, which is not too far from Seoul, along with some of their teachers. The rest of the people were passengers on other business, and crew.

About 16 miles from shore off the southern tip of South Korea, shortly before 9:00 a.m. KST, in calm weather, SEWOL made a hard turn and began to list. Minutes later, a loud noise reverberated. Whilst most of the passengers obeyed the captain's instructions to remain in their quarters, SEWOL listed ever farther to port, eventually to a degree which removed all hope of evacuating those passengers.

By the time the captain made the call to abandon ship, about an half-hour after that hard turn, the intercom system no longer functioned. Good Samaritans in the area and arriving rescue workers saved as many people as they could find, as the SEWOL beam listed perpendicular to the sea, trapping students and other passengers inside. SEWOL took over three hours to sink completely into seas where SAR divers report visibility to be mere inches in front of their faces.

March 16, 2014

Welding Explosion

A crewman died this week in an explosion aboard the Bering Sea factory trawler Alaska Ocean, Unalaska police said.

Preliminary investigation found that welding set off gas inside a storage locker that held a leaking acetylene tank, said Mike Holman, Unalaska deputy chief.

The blast unhinged the locker door, which struck Franz d'Alquen, 48, from Arizona. He was declared deceased shortly thereafter.

The accident happened at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday. The Alaska Ocean was about 165 miles out of Unalaska at the time.

The 376-foot vessel belongs to Seattle-based Glacier Fish Co.

The body has been sent to the state medical examiner's office, Holman said.

March 15, 2014

F/V Seeker ManOverboard - Search Suspended

The U.S. Coast Guard just announced it has suspended the active search for a man reported overboard north of Unimak Island in the Bering Sea.

Searchers covered 64 square miles over 10 hours.

The Coast Guard said it received a report this morning from the Seafreeze Alaska that a crewmember of the F/V Seeker had gone overboard.

State records list the owner of the 98-foot Seeker as James M. Seavers, of Newport, Ore.

The Coast Guard has not named the missing man.

A Coast Guard helicopter completed one search of the area, returned to Cold Bay to refuel, and completed a second search. The cutter Alex Haley assisted the search.

March 14, 2014

Crab Pot injury

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter conducted a medevac this morning for a man who was 'suffering from numerous injuries after a crab pot fell on him.'

The injury occurred aboard the F/V Miss Courtney Kim near Sanak Island, the Coast Guard said.

The patient, who wasn't identified, was picked up at King Cove and carried to Cold Bay. From there, he was transferred to Anchorage.

March 14, 2014

Crewman Overboard

The U.S. Coast Guard says a search is under way for a man reported overboard from the F/V Seeker 10 miles northwest of Unimak Island in the Bering Sea.

A Coast Guard helicopter out of Cold Bay and several good Samaritan vessels are searching the area. The cutter Alex Haley also is responding.

Conditions on scene include winds of 35 miles per hour with 10-foot seas.

March 14, 2014

F/V Shirley Crewman MedEvaced

A Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced an injured crewman from the fishing vessel Shirley R, 31 miles west of Grays Harbor, Wash., March 13, 2014. The fisherman reportedly suffered a fall onboard and had loss consciousness for a short while before regaining consciousness and being medevaced.

The man was taken in stable condition by ambulance to Grays Harbor Community Hospital.

March 10, 2014

Saved by Samaritans

The crews of 30-foot F/V MISS JANA and 50-foot F/V EQUINOX, both hailing out of Cordova, AK, and owned by Leslie P. Allen of Valdez, came to the rescue of three people whose 36-foot Belltech 5 was sinking near Valdez Wednesday night.

The Belltech 5 had already sunk with her crew already in the water when MISS JANA arrived to pull them out. The three rescued men were then transferred to EQUINOX, which in turn transferred them to the Coast Guard for further transport for medical care. Conditions at that time included snow, 7mph winds, and 3-foot seas.

According to the Coast Guard, the Belltech 5 sunk to a depth of 1,200 with no noted pollution. The three men are alive thanks to their timely communication via the proper channel, VHF 16, the Coast Guard's quick response, and two Good Samaritan fishing vessel crews.

March 1, 2014

OCEAN PHOENIX MedEvac # 3

For the third time this month, a Coast Guard helicopter has retrieved a medical patient off the Bering Sea processing ship Ocean Phoenix.

Tuesday Feb 25 medevac involved a crewman, described as 25 to 30 years old, with a "severe injury to his left hand," the Coast Guard said. The 680-foot Ocean Phoenix was 85 miles northwest of Cold Bay. Coast Guard medevaced the man from OCEAN PHOENIX via helicopter to Cold Bay, and from there he was taken to Providence Medical Center in Anchorage.

The crewman's name and current condition have not been released. At the time of his medevac, winds were at 35mph winds with 10-foot seas.

Previously this month: February 16, one of the crewmen was medevaced for an eye injury, February 13, a 25-year-old crewmember was medevaced because she was experiencing chest pains.