November 2012 Archives

November 27, 2012

Diesel Barge Strikes Lock

The U.S. Coast Guard has engaged federal and state partners in their response to a report of a barge that struck the walls of the lock approach to The Dalles while transiting on the Columbia River at approximately 3 a.m., Friday.

The double-bottom barge Tri-City Voyager, which was being pushed by the tug Defiance, has approximately 1,770,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board. The Dalles lock operators reported no smell of diesel fuel and no visible pollution. There are no reports of a hazard to navigation in the Columbia River. No injuries were reported.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River command center received a call at 3:13 a.m., from the agent of the Tidewater Tug Co., stating that the Tri-City Voyager struck an object in the water while transiting north on the Columbia River near The Dalles Dam. Defiance crewmembers conducted an immediate assessment, which included a sounding of their fuel tanks and bottom hull, and saw no breech and reported no pollution.

The tug and barge continued north, through the Dalles Dam locks, at approximately 4 a.m., and safely moored at the upper basin north wall.

November 27, 2012

$300,000 in EPA Violation fines

Aleutian Spray Fisheries, Inc., Ocean Peace, Inc., and United States Seafoods, LLC, have each been fined by the EPA for violations of the Clean Water Act. Four vessels from these three companies were found to have violated seafood waste discharge permit regulations in Alaskan waters. Such waste must be ground to an half-inch or less in order to facilitate waste dispersal at sea, and appropriate records of sample-taking and regular inspections must be maintained on board each vessel. The EPA found the Aleutian Spray and United States Seafoods violations in 2011 and the Ocean Peace violation in 2010.

Aleutian Spray will pay $120,000 to settle violations by F/V SIBERIAN SEA and F/V LIBERATOR for not keeping inspection records on the seafood waste treatment systems, and for not reporting vessel operation and discharge, between 2007 and 2011.

United States Seafoods was fined almost $90,600 for the failure of F/T OCEAN ALASKA to keep seafood waste treatment systems inspection records between 2007 and 2011.

Ocean Peace was fined $98,000 for F/T OCEAN PEACE not adhering to the half-inch grinding regulation, not taking waste samples, and not keeping seafood waste treatment system inspection records between 2007 and 2010.

November 17, 2012

Two Rescued from Ocean

A pair of sailors were rescued two days after their stricken yacht rolled in the South Pacific in high seas.

A Hong Kong cargo ship rescued the man who was from the United Kingdom and a woman from New Zealand. Caught by a fast developing storm, they activated an emergency beacon after the boat flipped in 30 ft seas and strong winds.

Steve Jones, the rescued sailor said, "We both felt scared, seriously scared and the other person would say hey you know it's going to be OK we're going to get through this. We're going to be OK"

When asked if they would sail again, Jones said, " Farmer sounds very attractive at the moment."

November 16, 2012

Fire aboard fishing vessel

There was an early morning fire aboard a 50-foot commercial fishing vessel berthed at Fisherman's Terminal, Seattle. Fire crews found the boat burning when they arrived on scene just after 4 a.m. Friday and used foam to control the fire within minutes.

The fire was reportedly caused by a faulty electrical outlet in the galley. Damaged is estimate at $200,000.

November 15, 2012

$180,000 Fine for Safety Violations

During a fire and emergency drill aboard OCEANIC DISCOVERER, the chief engineer became trapped in an automatic watertight sliding emergency door in the engine room. He lost consciousness and died at hospital three weeks later.

An investigation by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has lasted three years. AMSA presented to the court that Coral Princess Cruises was out of compliance with numerous Australian safety laws and regulations, including that the crew had not been trained in the operation of the door, nor had Coral Princess Cruises complied with door manufacturer requirements and warnings. Additionally, AMSA furnished evidence to the court that Coral Princess Cruises had failed to take reasonable precautions to protect the safety and health of an employee.

The fine of $180,000 was levied by the Australian court on October 30. This fine is would independent of potential damages sought in any possible law suits.

November 15, 2012

Tug Crew Rescued

Five crewmembers from the POLAR WIND were rescued after the tug its barge went aground.

The Northland Services tug was 20 miles from Cold Bay when it became separated from the barge. The two vessels drifted while the crew was trying to reconnect the towline.

The Coast Guard received a distress call at around 9pm on Tuesday, and responded with two helicopters. According to Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley, weather was a factor. Mosley says that the rescue was made five hours later, and had to be completed in two rounds.

Having rescued the crew of the POLAR WIND, the Coast Guard and the Department of Environmental Conservation are now working to reduce the impact to Alaska's coastline. The tug and barge were carrying more than 23,000 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of the grounding along with smaller amounts of lube oil and other petroleum-based products. The barge was also carrying 90 refrigerated containers, 30 of which were in use. The contents of these containers have not been disclosed and the Coast Guard is waiting for a cargo manifest.

November 7, 2012

Alaska Ferry Worker Injured

An Alaska ferry worker was injured on the passenger loading ramp at Bellingham Cruise Terminal, in Fairhaven.

The ferry ramp operator, who was not identified, was lowering the passenger ramp into place on the stern of the ship when a cable snapped and the ramp collapsed. The worker fell about 20 feet, landing on the damaged ramp.

Workers called an ambulance and the injured ferry worker was taken to St. Joseph hospital. No update on her condition was available Friday evening.

The M/V COLUMBIA, a 418-foot vessel, was scheduled to leave the terminal, 355 Harris Ave., at 6 p.m., but was delayed.

No foot passengers were boarding the ferry at the time of the accident. A few had already driven vehicles onboard.

November 2, 2012

Coast Guard Operation Safe Crab

The Coast Guard will again be conducting Operation Safe Crab to reduce the loss of lives and fishing vessels in the west coast crab fleet.

Coast Guard personnel will be available on the docks for dockside exams in ports from Monterey, Calif., to Crescent City, Calif., Nov. 6-8 to help identify and mitigate safety hazards in the crab fleet.

Coast Guard personnel will be walking the docks and informing commercial crab vessel operators of the required lifesaving equipment for their vessels, as well as pot-loading practices affecting vessel stability and watertight integrity. The 2010 Authorization Act changed the law for commercial fishing vessels, making it mandatory for vessels operating outside of three nautical miles to have a dockside examination after Oct. 15, 2012. Dockside exams have reduced the number of casualties and helped identify potential problems. 11th Coast Guard District statistics show nearly one-third of Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons and life rafts carried on board were incorrectly installed. This type of situation is easily corrected and can help prevent a disaster at sea. Those vessels with serious safety discrepancies, such as overloading, lack of watertight integrity, missing primary life saving equipment or non-functioning EPIRB's, can be restricted from operating until the discrepancies are corrected.

Implemented in 1991, the Coast Guard's Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Program is designed to help commercial fishermen identify and eliminate potential safety hazards. Successful completion of a dockside exam can also make any future at-sea Coast Guard boarding greatly abbreviated.

All California commercial crab fishermen are encouraged to contact their local Coast Guard Fishing Vessel Safety examiner with any questions or to schedule an exam.

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