May 2012 Archives

May 29, 2012

Fishing Vessel Sinks

48-foot Honolulu-based F/V ROBIN 2008 capsized and sank about fifteen miles south of Oahu, Hawaii, on May 27. The fisherman who was aboard was safely rescued, thanks to his emergency preparedness and thanks to the Coast Guard team who answered his call for help. The fisherman used the proper VHF Channel 16 for his mayday, and he activated his EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), which enabled the Coast Guard locate, rescue, and transfer him to the EMS in Honolulu. His name and his condition have not been released. No pollution has been reported.

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May 28, 2012

Crew Airlifted to Safety

On May 25, shortly after 9:00 p.m., the five-person crew of F/V ST. JOSEPH sent out a mayday that they'd lost steering in 20-foot seas, about 52 miles southeast of Cordova, Alaska. F/V HEIDI LINEA relayed the mayday to the Coast Guard, which sent an MH-Jayhawk helicopter to the area. The helicopter arrived around 11:00 p.m. and successfully hoisted the five crewmembers to safety.

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May 24, 2012

Worker Burned in Barge Accident

Beaver County commissioners said that a man working on the new Veterans Bridge project over the Beaver River was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital after receiving a jolt of electricity after a barge crane hit high tension power lines.

Accounts of how the unidentified worker was injured vary, but Commissioner Dennis Nichols said a large crane being set up on a barge in the river came in contact with high-tension power lines overhead. Nichols said he wasn't certain if the man was in the crane or on the barge at the time of the incident.

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May 23, 2012

Two Sailboat Crews Rescued

Two separate, successful rescues of sailing crews occurred during the past week, thanks to the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER). Originating after the TITANIC tragedy, AMVER has developed into a computer-based, voluntary-enrollment global reporting system managed by the U.S. Coast Guard and used by maritime rescue authorities worldwide to alert and divert nearby AMVER-enrolled ships to aid mariners in peril.

The first rescue was of the crew of S/V OUTER LIMITS, about 400 miles northeast of Bermuda, on the evening of May 18. OUTER LIMITS had been racing from the Bahamas to the Azores. A national rescue center in the Netherlands alerted the U.S. Coast Guard that the four crewmembers aboard OUTER LIMITS had reported they had struck a whale and were flooding. German-flagged container ship E.R.MELBOURNE was only 35 miles away and answered the call to rescue.

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May 21, 2012

Boats Collide; Four Revelers Dead

Two aluminum flat-bottomed boats collided on the Mississippi River near Burlington, Iowa, at around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday. Both boats, at 18 and 20 feet long, were being used to transport revelers from where they were partying on a river sandbar back to shore. One boat was empty of passengers with one driver, and the other boat held a total of eleven people.

When the boats collided, the bow of the boat which was full of people was sheered away; all eleven people were thrown into the river. The operator of the other boat picked up seven of those people, none of whom incurred life-threatening injuries. Four people remained missing until Sunday, when they were found dead near the crash site. Those who died are listed as Jacob Boyd, 22; Matthew House, 21; Blake Eakins, 21; and Caitlyn Atchley, 20, all of Burlington, Iowa.

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May 21, 2012

6 Missing After Fishing Vessel Sinks

Coast Guard crews in Galveston, Texas are searching for 6 crewmembers of a fishing vessel that may have sunk near Galveston, TX in Gulf of Mexico early Monday afternoon.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston said they received a mayday call from the captain of a fishing vessel at approximately 1:15 p.m. reporting that their vessel was taking on water, and the six people aboard were abandoning ship into an orange life raft.

Details, however, are still unclear as the mayday call was said to be of poor quality.  At this point, the USCG does not know the name or details of the vessel and it is not clear whether the fishing vessel was part of a commercial operation or private.

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May 21, 2012

Two Maritime Workers Killed in Seattle

A maritime worker, who was a forklift driver at the Port of Seattle, was fatally injured when he became trapped between a container and forklift, according to Hector Castro, a spokesman for the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). The victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, but he did not survive.

The accident happened on Thursday, May 17, at Terminal 18 at the Port of Seattle and was shut down for 24 hours. The accident remains under investigation at this time.

Another maritme worker was killed on the same day in an unrelated maritime accident.

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May 16, 2012

Towboat Captain Found Dead

The captain of a 29-foot towboat went missing on Wednesday and was later found dead after issuing a distress call that his vessel was taking on water west of Pocasset, Mass. near Buzzards Bay.

Watchstanders from the Sector Southeastern New England command center said they received the call at approximately 1 a.m. from the captain of the TowBoat U.S. vessel, Triple J.

A 25-foot Response Boat from Station Cape Cod Canal, a 41-foot utility boat from Station Woods Hole and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tigershark were immediately launched to search for the captain.  Hours later at around 6 a.m a harbor master from Wareham, Mass., found the Triple J partially submerged approximately three miles south of Hog Island Channel.  At first the vessel was thought to be unmanned when it was found.

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May 15, 2012

Boom Truck Operator Killed

The morning of May 8, Felix Morales, of California, was loading a seine net onto M/V KAYLOR T in Seward, Alaska, when the Icicle Seafoods boom truck he was operating tipped over. Apparently, the boom overextended, the truck flipped sideways, and the crane boom pierced the deck of KAYLOR T. Mr. Morales fell from the crane cab to the deck of KAYLOR T, about 23 feet. He died of head injury.

Local fire departments and other workers stabilized the overturned boom truck before it could fall onto KAYLOR T as she lowered with the ebb tide.

Mr. Morales, 52, of California, was an experienced crane operator and had been traveling annually from California to Seward for 16 years to work. He was well known in the Seward fishing community. OSHA is investigating this industrial accident.

May 14, 2012

Tanker Owners to Pay $2 Million

A settlement by South Harmony Shipping of Panama, owners of the oil tanker the Dubai Star, was filed in San Francisco County Superior Court on Tuesday, May 9, by the district attorneys of San Francisco and Alameda County in Northern California.

San Francisco District Attorney, George Gascón, told the media that the owners of the Dubai Star oil tanker had to pay $1.96 million for a 2009 oil spill in the San Francisco Bay that impacted more than 200 acres and killed some 100 seabirds.

About 75 percent of that cash, which will be divided among San Francisco, Oakland, and the California Department of Fish and Game, covers the cost of the damages, including restoring wildlife habitat and recreation areas. The rest of the sum will pay off civil penalties.

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May 11, 2012

Fisherman Medevaced After Ammonia Exposure

Three crewmembers of a Seattle-based fishing trawler were medevaced after being exposed to an ammonia leak while fishing in Alaskan waters Thursday.

According to the Coast Guard report, personnel from Coast Sector Anchorage received a report at appoximately 12:38 p.m. on Thurday of an ammonia leak aboard the 218-foot F/V Alaska Juris, resulting in exposure to three crewmembers.

The Coast Guard responded, sending two helicopters, an airplane and a cutter to the location of the vessel, which at the time was about 80 miles north of Cold Bay in the Bearing Sea.  Once on scene, one of the helicopters medevaced the three crewman and took them to Anchorage for medical attention. The men were later reported to be in good condition.

A total of 49 people were aboard the vessel at the time of the leak. The incident is under investigation.

May 10, 2012

Philadelphia Duck Boat Lawsuit Settlement $17M

Ride the Ducks, which operates the touring vehicles, and K-Sea Transportation Partners, which owned the tug that pushed a 250-foot barge into the duck boat in July 2010, also will pay $2 million to be split among the 18 duck boat passengers who survived, the Inquirer reports.

The two victims who died in the 2010 Philadelphia duck boat crash on the Delaware River were 20-year old Szabolcs Prem and 16-year old Dora Schwendtner. Both drowned when they, along with more than three dozen fellow passengers, were thrown into the river's icy waters.

The Inquirer said their parents attended the first two days of the trial, which started Monday, but returned to Hungary on Wednesday and were not available for comment.

May 3, 2012

Injury Aboard Tug

Coast Guard crews from Corpus Christi were called to the Gulf Intracoastal near Rockport, TX on Monday morning to medevac an injured crewman aboard the U.S. owned and operated tugboat, Billy Burkett. 

The Coast Guard they received the report at about 9 a.m. that at 20-year old male had been injured and required immediate medical assistance about five miles from Rockport.  The Coast Guard arrived on scene about an hour later and hoisted the man aboard a Dolphin rescue helicopter and transported him to Columbia Memorial Hospital for medical care.

"We were able to get the rescue swimmer on scene quickly, and he recommended airlifting the man," said Lt. Garret Barker, a Dolphin pilot at Air Station Corpus Christi. "I am glad we were able to help the injured crewmember today."

May 2, 2012


The crew of F/V ASHLYNE called the Coast Guard for help early the morning of April 30, reporting that ASHLYNE had begun listing and losing stability as they headed for port, and later reporting that the listing was worsening, as the original listing had caused their 70,000 pound catch of fish to shift in the fish hold. ASHLYNE was losing stability and in danger of capsizing.

The Coast Guard successfully escorted ASHLYNE from about two miles south of the Columbia River mouth to port at Ilwaco, WA, in swells of eight to twelve feet while pumps on board kept the vessel from flooding. ASHLYNE will be kept in port for a Coast Guard inspection to determine the cause of the listing and flooding and to ensure that required repairs are made.

May 2, 2012

Oil Rig Damaged by Tanker

The Rowan EXL-1, a mobile offshore drilling unit, has reportedly been badly damaged after being struck by a tanker that had apparently lost propulsion near Port Aransas.  

According to the U.S.C.G initial statement, watchstanders at Sector Corpus Christi received a report at 7:25 a.m., that the Rowan EXL-1 and the 750-foot tanker FR8 Pride had collided in the Aransas Channel, near buoy 3.

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May 1, 2012

New Safety Procedures for Cruise Ships

The Cruise Lines International Association has announced that new standards will be mandated on cruise ships to avoid future disasters like the Costa Concordia cruise ship accident. New rules will require that cruise ships are equipped with additional life vests for adults and also ensure that there are more life jackets onboard then there are actual passengers. These jackets must also be readily available in public locations as opposed to located in individual cabins.

Passage planning procedures were also the subject of revision, and ships will be required to submit a detailed report of the ship's journey from departure to arrival. The voyage must be approved by the master and explained to the bridge team members by a designated officer.

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May 1, 2012

Four Sailors Reported Dead

The 37-foot sailboat Aegean, was found destroyed Saturday morning, during the Newport Beach to Ensenada race. It is believed the boat must have collided with another much larger vessel.

The team aboard the boat comprised veteran sailors. The skipper of the boat, presumed dead, has not been found at this time. Three bodies have been found among the debris--Joseph Lester Stewart of Bradenton, FL, William Reed Johnson, Jr. of Torrance, and Kevin Rudolph of Manhattan Beach. A coast guard investigation is under way.

These deaths are the first in the race's 65 year history. The deaths are the second yachting disaster this spring. On April 14, five fatalities occurred in a racing accident off the coast of San Francisco.