June 2011 Archives

June 24, 2011

Conservative Judges Fail to Take Away Seamen's Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court preserved the rule which has for 50 years helped seamen recover fair compensation for their injuries. The conservative justices had urged casting aside the well-established rule, created by Congress as interpreted by the Supreme Court in 1957, and replacing it with an English common law rule which would have assisted shipowners in avoiding liability for their negligence.

The majority of Judges in CSX Transportation, Inc. v. McBride held that if employer negligence plays any part in causing injury to a seaman the employer is liable for damages.

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June 24, 2011

Intoxicated Boating Enforcement

SEATTLE - Coast Guard units in partnership with local and state marine law enforcement agencies will patrol waters throughout the Pacific Northwest June 24-26, 2011, for Operation Dry Water, an annual campaign focused on the education, detection and enforcement of boating under the influence (BUI).

Operation Dry Water is a national initiative coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with state and local agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard, aimed at reducing alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities on the water.

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June 23, 2011

Transocean Blames BP

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded last year on April 20, 2010 killing 11 oil rig workers and spread millions of gallons of oil across gulf waters and beaches, has issued an extensive report Wednesday that points most of the blame at BP, the owner of the Macondo well.

In the Transocean 854 page report released on Wednesday, Transocean said the Deepwater Horizon explosion that occurred on April 20, 2010 and resulting oil spill was the result of a "succession of interrelated well design, construction, and temporary abandonment decisions that compromised the integrity of the well and compounded the risk of its failure." Transocean said many of the decisions were made by well owner BP in the two weeks before the incident.

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June 20, 2011

Coast Guard Rescues Two

A Coast Guard helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston were on patrol when they spotted an overturned 18-foot boat in Galveston Bay on Sunday, June 19. The helicopter conducted a search of the area and spotted one person in the water. The crew hoisted Robert Rasmussen of Houston into the helicopter, who notified the Coast Guard that his father was still in the water.

The helicopter crew located a good Samaritan who had arrived on the scene and picked up the father, 59-year-old Richard Rasmussen of San Leon. Both father and son were transported to Air Station Houston for evaluation. Officials said both recovered men had their life jackets on when they were rescued and, having been in the water for over two hours, their life jackets undoubtedly saved their lives.

June 16, 2011

Seven Rescued

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville received word of a sinking 26-foot boat about one mile southeast of Cape Canaveral, Thursday morning around 9:45 a.m. The captain noticed the boat listing and sinking; once in the water he was able to make a mayday call using a cell phone in a waterproof case. The Coast Guard deployed a 25-foot rescue boat crew and arrived on the scene shortly after.

When the Coast Guard arrived the boat was completely submerged and the passengers were in the water. The Coast Guard crew rescued five adults and two children from the water. Rescued were 23-year-old Katie Hart of Florida, 64-year-old Richard Leister of Kentucky, 35-year-old Richard Leister Jr. of Kentucky, 54-year-old Gary Lees of Tennessee, 11-year-old Nick Lees of Tennessee, and 9-year-old Nolan Lees of Tennessee.

All seven boaters were wearing life jackets at the time of the Coast Guard's arrival. None of the passengers required medical attention.

June 15, 2011

Gross Negligence Caused Deaths

Royal Caribbean Cruises has been rebuked by a Florida judge, who has ruled that the cruise vessel showed grave indifference to the safety of its crewmembers and passengers.  The ruling came in a lawsuit filed after a toxic gas exposure incident on a Royal Caribbean Cruises vessel. Three crew members died, and at least 19 passengers were injured in that incident.

The poison gas exposure incident occurred on the Monarch of the Seas in September 2005.  The three crewmembers were repairing a pipe when there was a sudden release of high levels of hydrogen sulfide, killing them instantly. At least 19 people on the cruise line were injured. The lawsuit had been filed by a crew member on board at the time.
According to the judge, there was enough evidence to indicate that Royal Caribbean Cruises' conduct in this incident was intentional or an indication of gross negligence.

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June 14, 2011

Recklessness Kills Two

The boat operator involved in a Presidents Day accident that ended with the deaths of two Middleburg High School students, including his son, has been cited with reckless operation.

Ted Hanner, 49, was operating the 1985 Baja bass boat on Black Creek near the Knight's Boat Ramp and Marina facility when he left the controls to pump the fuel bulb, a piece of equipment that helps get fuel to the motor, said Karen Parker, a spokeswoman from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She said the boat was running kind of ragged and Hanner was trying to get more fuel to the motor. The boat veered to the north bank and crashed into a tree 3 feet off the water, according to commission at the time.

Hanner's son, Travis Hanner, 17, and the teen's girlfriend Halee Mickey, 15, were sitting in the bow of the 18-foot, 4-inch boat at the time. The teens died at the scene from severe blunt force trauma, the commission reported at the time. Ted Hanner was treated at Shands Jacksonville hospital and later released. Alcohol was not a factor, and the boat was traveling about 20 mph, Parker said. Reckless operation of a boat is a first-degree misdemeanor.

June 7, 2011

Coast Guard responds to grounding

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound is responding to the grounded fishing vessel Ruby Lily, which ran aground at Petos Island, Wash., with one person on board at approximately 1:30 a.m., Tuesday.

The operator of the 50-foot commercial vessel is uninjured and has decided to remain on board.

A Coast Guard Station Bellingham response boat crew reports the vessel is intact with no pollution sighted. Ruby Lily has approximately 4,800 gallons of diesel fuel onboard.

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June 6, 2011

Fishing Vessel Sinks

The 44-foot fishing vessel ABBY LOUISE sank Saturday in Orca Inlet about seven miles southwest of Cordova. The cause of the sinking is unknown, and the Coast Guard is working to contain environmental damage. As of this time, there were no reported injuries in the accident. Good samaritan vessels in the area assisted in the rescue of three of the vessel crew. The sinking is under investigation by the Coast Guard.

June 6, 2011

Passengers Injured in Explosion

Several passengers on board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship were injured by an explosion near their vessel. The vessel, Independence of the Seas had been docked in Gibraltar when there was an explosion in a nearby fuel tank. 10-foot-high flames shot into the air.  At least 10 passengers were injured seriously and required medical attention.

Cruise authorities say that they took steps immediately retract the gangway and move the ship away to safety as soon possible after the explosion occurred. It is believed the blast was caused by welding sparks from the tank. However, the possibility of an attack on the ship exists, and is being investigated.

Two persons on the tank were also injured seriously, including the welder who suffered burn injuries. A police officer was also injured during rescue operations. There was no damage to the Cruise vessel, and it continued on its journey to Cannes.

June 6, 2011

Serious injury in boating crash

Hip-hop singer Sean Kingston reportedly is in critical condition in a Florida hospital after crashing a personal watercraft into Palm Island Bridge in Miami Beach, with a female passenger on board.

Both were rescued by a nearby boater after the incident, which occurred Sunday at about 6 p.m. local time.

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June 6, 2011

Cruise Ship Death

A man is missing presumed dead after falling overboard on a cruise ship into the English Channel, officials said.

Emergency workers called off a search and rescue mission this morning after unsuccessfully hunting for the man throughout the night, according to a French coastguard source.

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June 6, 2011

Cruise Line Terminal Explosion

A large explosion on the Rock Of Gibraltar has led to a number of injuries, one serious.
An explosion on the north dock, known as the North Mole, of the cruise liner terminal in Gibraltar on Tuesday 31st May 2011 has led to two injuries, one serious on the dock and a number of injuries, all light, on a nearby cruise liner. The British colony, situated on the southern tip of Spain is a popular docking point for cruise ships entering and leaving the Mediterranean Sea.

The explosion is believed to have occurred in two storage tanks on the dock which burst into flames. The injured are reported to be a dock worker, who suffered serious burns and who has been transferred to hospital in Seville and a police officer who went to his rescue. The police officer suffered less serious injuries and has returned to work.

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