December 2011 Archives

December 28, 2011

BP Settles

Under a legal settlement announced on Friday, Dec 16 by BP, Cameron International, maker of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer that failed to stop the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, has agreed to pay $250 million to BP.

BP said it was "in their mutual best interests, and the agreement is not an admission of liability by either party." The companies agreed to drop all claims against one another.

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December 28, 2011

Woman Dies in Dive Boat Sinking

On December 18 around 3:15 a commercial diving boat, GET WET, with two crew and six dive customers on board, had finished its first dive at Molasses Reef off Key Largo and was begun powering away to a second dive location when it quickly began taking in water over the stern. The approximately 30-foot vessel submerged, trapping two of the customers underwater.

Captain John Nathaniel swam in to pull them out, finding both unconscious. Amit Rampurkarl of New York is now reported in stable condition, but Aimee Rhoads of Washington state did not respond to CPR and was pronounced dead.

Good Samaritan vessel VISIBILITY called for help and was able to take in the GET WET divers and crew and start CPR until the Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived. Why GET WET sank is, as yet, unknown.

December 27, 2011

One Dead in Boat Capsizing

Rapid response from Coast Guard Station Chetco River did not save the life of one of three people holding onto their capsized 16-foot pleasure boat near the mouth of the Chetco River in Oregon, shortly after noon on December 22. A witness on shore called for help; the Coast Guard launched a 25-foot boat and crew and recovered the three boaters within minutes of the call.

The two survivors suffered minor scrapes and hypothermia, but the third person was unresponsive at the time of rescue and pronounced deceased after local EMS crews transported him from to Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City, California. The Coast Guard expressed its deepest condolences to the deceased man's loved ones.

None of the three individuals were wearing a life jacket.

December 26, 2011

Cruise Ship Crewmember Death

Aboard the Australian operated Oceanic Discoverer, a 34-year-old seaman was killed when he was trapped in a watertight door in 2009.

According to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, the crew of the cruise ship had been conducting an emergency fire drill included closing and testing hydraulic watertight doors. The master closed the doors using a remote device.  Just a few minutes later, the chief engineer opened the doors to the engine room. He became trapped in the closing doors, and remained there for a full 8 minutes.

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December 24, 2011

F/V Arica Avoids Sinking

F/V ARICA, a 200-foot fishing vessel moored in Lake Union in Seattle, began to take on water. ARNICA had been in drydock and was recently returned to the water. The crew had set up pumps to expel water from an apparent hull leak. The power source to the pumps failed; the water level is reported to have become about a foot deep inside the engine room by the time Seattle firefighters arrived with equipment to resume pumping.

Power was restored morning and there were no injuries and no fuel leaks or spills into Lake Union noted, but as a precaution, a boom has been placed around ARICA, and the pumped-out water is undergoing sewage treatment to remove any oil traces. The leak was thought to be caused by a problem with the sea chest, a grated recess in the hull of the ship used for intake and piping of raw water for secondary cooling of the main propulsion engine.

December 23, 2011

Cruise boat burns

The Austin Fire Department contained a two-alarm fire on a boat dock and a boat in the Hyatt marina on Sunday afternoon, at least one of which belongs to Capital Cruises.

AFD Battalion Chief Thayer Smith told KXAN a river cruise boat caught fire around 2 p.m. while docked near the First Avenue Bridge at 280 Barton Springs Road. The flames burned through the boats ropes and moorings, resulting in the boat drifting a quarter mile while still ablaze before docking under the Congress Avenue bridge.

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December 21, 2011

Oil Rig Sinking

Rescue efforts for the crewmembers of the Russian oil rig that collapsed last week continue, but hopes for survivors of the disaster are quickly fading.  Russian authorities have added more aircraft to search efforts to look for survivors from the rig that collapsed in icy waters.

The loss occurred when the drilling jackup rig Kolskaya with more than 67 crewmembers onboard, capsized and sank off the island of Sakhalin. The collapse occurred in the icy waters of the Sea of Okhotsk, and 14 workers have been rescued. According to reports, the oil rig flipped over, and quickly sank in about 20 minutes. At the time of the sinking, the depth of the water at the scene was about 3,400 feet. The rig was being towed in stormy weather with swells of up to 6 m. So far, 16 bodies have been recovered.

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December 20, 2011

Barge Worker Killed

On Saturday, Dec 17, a barge worker was fatally injured while removing a loaded barge owned by Greater Cincinnati Marine, which was docked at the Black River Mine in Pendleton County. The dead man was identified as Chris Mink, an employee of Greater Cincinnati Marine.

The accident was reported at about 2 p.m. but the exact time of the accident is approximated to have occurred in the early afternoon, according to Kevin Whyte, vice president, general counsel for Carmeuse Lime and Stone, owner of Black River facility.

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December 19, 2011

Sinking of FV Randi

Afternoon of December 12, F/V RANDI capsized and sank about three miles off the Coos Bay jetty with three fishermen on board. Two fishermen, Seth Smith and Bruce Potts, survived and were picked up by F/V PATTY AJ. Jim Peterson, who was trapped inside the wheelhouse, is still missing.

According to reports, Smith noticed the boat listing, and as he moved toward the load of crab pots, a swell hit RANDI. The swell caused F/V RANDI to turn on her side and then quickly slide underwater. Smith was able to get free of the tangle of crab pots and lines and swam toward Potts, who he saw trying to inflate the life raft. Potts was wearing his life jacket, but he had become hypothermic. Smith grabbed him and swam for PATTY AJ, which had already sent out a mayday, and picked them up. Potts was airlifted by Coast Guard helicopter and taken to the hospital, and an unsuccessful Coast Guard search for Jim Peterson ensued.

December 15, 2011

Female Barge Worker Critically Injured

Colleen Bowen, 48, a worker on a barge owned and operated by Western Contracting of Sioux City, Iowa, was sucked into the engine of a Missouri River tugboat last Thursday night on Dec. 8. The accident left Bowen in a medically induced coma at Creighton University Medical Center.

Investigators told the media that Bowen was shutting off the engine of the tugboat around 5 p.m. when some of her clothing was caught in the machinery.

Bowen suffered critical injuries to her, spine, jaw, lungs, ribs and legs. Bowen's family also said she has severe burns and abrasions to her stomach, legs and chest.

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December 14, 2011

Collision Shuts Ship Channel

A collision involving 2 tankers in the Houston Ship Channel has led to an indefinite shutdown of the port. The collision apparently occurred during a heavy fog, and involved the 50,000-pound tanker Charleston and the 600-foot long cargo vessel Harvest Sun. The tanker vessel was apparently headed northward to Houston, while the cargo vessel was headed southbound from Houston.

According to the Coast Guard, the tanker and the cargo vessel collided at about 8am near the Texas City Dike. There were no injuries in the accident. No fires or explosions were reported, and so far, there have been no reports of any oil or chemical spillage during the accident. The tank was carrying the acetone.

December 11, 2011

Worker Injured in Barge Failure

A barge worker was injured in an accident when a 900,000-pound cylinder being transported on the barge, fell into the water.

The cylinder was being taken to BPs Cherry Point Refinery. The barge was about 500 yards offshore when the accident occurred. The cylinder measures about 130 feet long and 12 feet wide. As it was being transported, it rolled and plunged off the barge and into the water.

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December 10, 2011

Woman Dies after Fall

A 26-year-old woman has been confirmed dead after she fell off the vintage cruise liner, the Queen Mary. The woman was on a walkway leading to the liner when she fell. Her boyfriend and a ship employee who jumped into the water to save her, were rescued.

Witnesses saw the woman climbing over the railing of the walkway just before she fell about 35 feet into the ice-cold water.  Her boyfriend jumped into the water after her, and began to develop hypothermia. One of the ship's employees jumped in to rescue him.

When rescue personnel arrived at the scene, they found all 3 people in the water. The woman's boyfriend was developing hypothermia, and was taken to hospital. The 2nd officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The woman could not be saved.  According to police, they are treating this as an accidental death.

December 8, 2011

Port Worker Killed

A man has been confirmed dead in a crane accident at the Houston Ship Channel. The fatality occurred when the worker was hit by the crane, and dragged under it.

According to news reports, the accident occurred at the Barbours Cut Container Terminal.  The man seems to have been working when he was caught under the crane which began to move. The victim's legs were severed.  He was rushed to the Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena, but died from his injuries. The man was a member of the International Longshoremen's Association union.

December 7, 2011

Crew Airlifted to Medical Facility

23-year-old Chinese crewman aboard the Panamanian-flagged 958-foot Shagangfirst Power was taken ill, suffering from abdominal pain on November 21. Shagangfirst Power was 72 miles off Cold Bay at the time of their distress call to the Coast Guard. The crewman was medevaced by MH-65 Dolphin helicopter launched from the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, to receive emergency medical treatment in Cold Bay.

December 6, 2011

Celebration Cruise Ship Fire

No injuries were reported after a small fire broke out on a Celebration cruise ship. Florida-based Celebration Cruise Line reported a small explosion and fire on its Bahamas Celebration ship.

According to news reports, one of the generators on the ship blew a rod and piston. This led to an oil leak, which quickly caught fire. The flames were put out by the ship's fire suppression system. Celebration Cruise Line has stated that power to supply to the vessel was not cut off. No injuries were reported in the explosion or the fire, however, the ship's air conditioning apparently is no longer working.

December 4, 2011

Disabled Fishing Boat Towed to Safety

Coast Guard answered a distress call on November 30 from the STEVE C, a fishing vessel holding around 22 tons of catch.The STEVE C had lost steering in bad weather about 21 miles northwest of Clatsop Spit, Oregon. Coast Guard reached the STEVE C by 52-foot motor lifeboat TRIUMPH early that afternoon and, through 14-18 foot swells, towed the disabled vessel across the Columbia River bar to Cape Disappointment shortly after midnight. There were no injuries.

December 2, 2011

Barge Incident Under Investigation

Early morning on November 26, four coal barges broke loose from American Electric Power's M/V Buckeye State. One barge struck the pier as reported by Lt. Jason Coffey with the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Huntington. The Coast Guard is still conducting its investigation.

The M/V Buckeye State is one of AEP's fleet of larger vessels.
No cargo was lost therefore no cleanup was required. According to Coffey as of Monday afternoon, Nov 28, the barge was still docked along the West Virginia side of the riverbank near the bridge.

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December 1, 2011

U.S. tourist dies on cruise ship

An American tourist died aboard a cruise liner docked in the port of Rio Tuesday after Brazilian authorities were told that 86 people on board had been sickened by stomach flu.

The woman died aboard the MS Veendam, a luxury vessel owned by the U.S. cruise company Holland America Line which sailed from Valparaiso, Chile and docked with 1,800 people on board, most of them foreigners, officials said.

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December 1, 2011

3 Sailors Dead, 8 Missing

Three sailors died and eight others are missing after a Turkish trade ship collided with a passenger ferry and sank in the Adriatic.

Sailing under a Maltese flag and loaded with aluminum, the 3,000-ton Reina 1, whose owner and crew were Turkish, sank immediately after the collision with the car ferry Ankara in international waters, said police spokeswoman Ornela Cako. The crash happened at around 2 a.m. (23:00 GMT) on Thursday some 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the Albanian port of Durres.

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December 1, 2011

Cruise Ship Crew Death

The death of a cruise ship crew member, who fell into the Lyttelton Harbour in New Zealand and died, is being linked to a rusted rope that was so corroded it broke.

The Indonesian crewmember fell off a lifeboat.  He was greasing the wires of the lifeboat on the side of the MS Volendam along with a fellow worker when the wire broke, and the two men fell into the water.  Other crew members on the vessel threw a bucket into the water, rescuing one of the crewmembers.  However, the Indonesian crewmember died.  His body was recovered several hours later.  Neither crew member had been wearing a life jacket at the time.

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December 1, 2011

Barge Fall Results in Death

According to Indiana conservation officers, James Gamblin, 43, of Paducah, Ky. working on the Ganis R. Brewer Barge, Monday night, Nov 21, when the barge hit the wall of an Ohio River lock and he fell into the water and died.

News25ABC reports:
The impact caused the vessel's barges to separate and Gamblin fell into the river about midway between Evansville and Louisville, KY.
Gamblin was wearing a life jacket and his body was found in a debris pile near the locks.
An autopsy is planned to determine whether he died of injuries from the fall or drowned.