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December 11, 2015

Dangerous Weather Aleutians and Bering Sea

JUNEAU, Alaska -- The Coast Guard urges mariners to use caution with the onset of heavy weather expected to affect the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea, this weekend.

The Coast Guard has notified the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, patrolling in the Bering Sea with an embarked Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, to standby to assist mariners.

Capt. Diane Durham, chief of response, 17th District, said,. "We are encouraging all mariners to monitor National Weather Service reports and take appropriate safety precautions, such as pulling into a safe harbor or taking shelter in the lee of an island, in order to safeguard their crews."

On Wednesday, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service forecasted that the storm will include hurricane force winds, 45-foot seas and possible coastal flooding in Western Alaska.

Please visit the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Website at for the most up to date information on the storm.

In order to learn more about preparing for emergency situations please visit the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management's Website at

October 14, 2015

$100,000,000 lawsuit filed after sinking

A lawyer representing the family of Lonnie Jordan, an El Faro crew member, has filed a $100 million lawsuit against TOTE Service Inc. and TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, as well as the El Faro captain. The ship sank off the Bahamas on October 1st, and search and rescue ended after eight days. On October 5th, the U.S. Coast Guard found a body of a crewmember in a survival suit.

The lawsuit was filed family by attorney Willie E. Gary. Gary has accused the company of negligence and putting profit ahead of the lives of its employees. "We hope to get to the bottom of this," Gary said. "We are at war now."

"Tote Services, negligently permitted the El Faro to sail out to sea despite being in an unseaworthy condition to handle the conditions of a violent storm," the lawsuit states.

Continue reading "$100,000,000 lawsuit filed after sinking" »

October 13, 2015

Enclosed area death and injury reach unacceptable rates

A shift in the approach to safety management of enclosed spaces on board ships is needed. Fifteen years ago, while working as an independent surveyor, I was carrying out a condition survey on board a bulk carrier. The scope of the survey included testing the emergency generator, located in the steering flat and accessed by an inclined ladder.

Accompanied by the superintendent and the chief engineer, we had no sooner reached the bottom of the space when the chief engineer urgently ordered us all out. By the time we had exited the space, within seconds, we were all in a state of dizziness and confusion, compounded by our inability to comprehend what had just occurred. Further investigation revealed that Freon gas had leaked from refrigeration machinery located in the steering flat and being heavier than air, had migrated into the emergency generator space, displacing breathable air. It was a lucky escape. Victims of asphyxiation in enclosed spaces deficient in oxygen will normally receive no such warning that anything is wrong or have the ability to quickly escape.

Continue reading "Enclosed area death and injury reach unacceptable rates" »

August 27, 2015

Coast Guard boatcrew medevacs passenger

A Coast Guard Station Juneau boatcrew medevaced a 61-year-old man experiencing symptoms of a heart attack aboard the cruise ship Star Princess in Lynn Canal, approximately 20 miles north of Juneau, Wednesday.

The station's 45-foot Response Boat -Medium crew transported the man from the Star Princess to awaiting emergency medical services in Auke Bay.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center in received a report from the captain of the cruise ship Star Princess of the ailing passenger. The duty flight surgeon recommended medevac via response boat. Watchstanders directed the launch of the station's RB-M.

Weather at the time of the medevac was reported as light and variable winds with calm seas.

August 25, 2015

Cruise ship passenger Medevaced

A 45-year-old woman was medevaced from the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice near Sitka, Alaska, Monday.

An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted the hoist and transferred the ailing passenger to awaiting emergency medical services in Sitka.

Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders in Juneau were notified of an ailing passenger by the medical team aboard the Celebrity Solstice.  Watchstanders consulted the duty flight surgeon who recommended the medevac.

Weather conditions at the time were reported as 23 mph winds with 4-foot seas.

July 23, 2015

Cruise ship passenger Medevaced

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew medevaced an 83 year-old man experiencing symptoms of a possible heart attack aboard a cruise ship approximately 70 miles east of Kodiak Island, Wednesday.

The Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the man, along with a nurse from the ship, and transferred them to awaiting emergency medical services at Air Station Kodiak.
Watchstanders at the 17th District command center in Juneau received a report from the captain of the cruise ship Statendam of a passenger suffering a possible heart attack and requested assistance. The duty flight surgeon recommended medevac and the helicopter crew was dispatched to the scene.

"The Coast Guard is routinely called upon to conduct medevacs from cruise ships in Alaska," said Lt. Joey Schlosser, a Coast Guard 17th District operations unit watchstander. "Our hoist-capable helicopters allow us to transport patients and reduce the time it takes for them to receive medical care."

The weather at the time of the medevac was reported as 15 mph winds with 5-foot seas.

June 14, 2015

Coast Guard medevacs woman from Norwegian Sun

JUNEAU, Alaska -- A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward-deployed to Cordova medevaced a 63-year-old woman from the cruise ship Norwegian Sun near Yakutat, Sunday.

The aircrew hoisted the woman and safely transported her to Cordova Community Medical Center.

Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders received a report from the captain of the Norwegian Sun that the woman was suffering from abdominal complications. The watchstanders consulted with the duty flight surgeon, who recommended a medevac, and directed the launch of the forward-deployed aircrew.

Weather on scene was reported as light and variable winds and calm seas.

June 9, 2015


JUNEAU, Alaska -- A Coast Guard Station Juneau boatcrew medevaced a 75-year-old man from the cruise ship Celebrity Infinity in Lynn Canal near Point Retreat, Alaska, Tuesday morning.

The boatcrew brought the ailing man to emergency medical services in Auke Bay for transfer to Bartlett Regional Hospital.

A crewmember from the Celebrity Infinity contacted Coast Guard District 17 watchstanders Monday evening requesting a medevac for the man who was suffering from symptoms of cardiac arrest.

After assessing the situation, watchstanders launched a 45-foot Response Boat - Medium crew from Station Juneau Tuesday morning to meet the Celebrity Infinity in Lynn Canal.
The RB-M crew rendezvoused with Capital City Fire Rescue personnel in Statter Harbor where an ambulance was waiting to take the man to the hospital.

January 31, 2014

Cruise-ship Crewman lost overboard

964-foot cruise ship CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION reported losing a crewman overboard in the Caribbean Sea near the Yukatan Channel. His absence was not discovered for eight hours as the vessel continued on her route.

Closed-circuit cameras were reviewed after a pair of shoes was discovered next to a deck railing; the video footage revealed a person going overboard. The ship crew were then able to calculate the incident location and alert the U.S. Coast Guard in Florida. The Coast Guard have not located the man, identified as Inyoman Bagiada, 45, from Indosesia. He was a cook on board.

May 29, 2013

Cruise Liner Deck Fire

915-foot cruise ship GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS suffered a fire in the aft mooring area at the third deck level. The fire travelled to the crew lounge on the aft fourth deck where it was doused by on-board firefighting personnel.

The fire was reported 35 nautical miles northwest Grand Bahama. The Coast Guard sent aid by air and sea as well as issued UMIB and AMVER alerts, then provided an escort to Freeport, Grand Bahama. Her next port of call would have been Coco Cay, halfway between Grand Bahama and New Providence, Bahamas. The rest of the seven day cruise has been cancelled and the guests on board will receive a return flight back to the States, a full refund of this cruise, and a voucher for a future trip.

According to reports, none of the 3,020 passengers and crew were injured, nor was there any reported necessity to evacuate the ship before reaching Freeport. GRANDEUR OF THE SEAS is operated by Royal Caribbean International and is Bahamian flagged, the NTSB will work with Bahamian authorities to investigate the cause of the fire.

April 18, 2013

Cruise ship pool near drowning

The incident occurred on March 30, a 4 year old boy nearly drowned right after the boy and his family boarded the Disney Fantasy ship in Port Canaveral for a cruise to the Western Caribbean. He was pulled from one of the ship's three pools, according to witnesses, unconscious and not breathing. He had been without oxygen for several minutes, although the exact time is not known. Rescuers performed CPR, and the boy was rushed to Cape Canaveral Hospital before being airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital.

April 16, 2013

Carnival Triumph - Again

CARNIVAL TRIUMPH should perhaps be renamed considering her trail of woes. Previously, on February 10, as CARNIVAL TRIUMPH was sailing about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula, an engine room fire took out her electrical power. CARNIVAL TRIUMPH was first adrift and then under tow for days before being towed to Mobile, Alabama, with 3,800 passengers and crew on board. During that time, the emergency power generator proved inadequate to the needs of all those people, resulting in significant hygiene and general health issues.

Now, on April 3, CARNIVAL TRIUMPH broke loose of her moorings at the BAE Shipyard in Mobile, AL, where she has continued to lay for repairs, and drifted into a cargo ship. One of the starboard stern decks, well above the waterline, sustained a 20-foot gash. None of the crew or repair workers on board were reported injured in this latest incident, and she is back at under control.

April 7, 2013

San Francisco Duck Boat Fire

San Francisco Duck Tour boats called the Coast Guard because of an engine compartment fire on May 5th. Reports list the number of passengers between 14 and 28 it appears that no one was injured. The duck boat operator had already activated the on-board fire suppression system and everyone was wearing life jackets devices by the time the Coast Guard and an San Francisco Fire Department fire boat arrived. The Coast Guard reports taking 14 passengers off the duck boat to Pier 52, while Westar Marine Services towed the duck boat to that same pier for an investigation into the cause of the fire.

February 13, 2013

Cruise Ship Under Tow

Disabled cruise ship CARNIVAL TRIUMPH is being escorted to Mobile, Alabama. Two tug boats involved are Fort Lauderdale-based RESOLVE PIONEER and St. Vincent and the Grenadines-flagged tug DABHOL. There is about 270 miles to go and they are scheduled to arrive in Mobile on Thursday.

The Coast Guard and the NTSB will participate in investigating the cause of the fire, but as CARNIVAL TRIUMPH is Bahamian-flagged, the Bahamas Maritime Authority will act as the lead investigative body. The outcome will be made public after the investigation.

February 12, 2013

Carnival Triumph adrift

893-foot cruise ship CARNIVAL TRIUMPH with a 3858 passengers and crew capacity, went adrift about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula on February 10 after a fire in the engine room. The fire was extinguished by an automatic fire extinguishing system, and no injuries were reported.

Carnival Corporation has reported that the ship is using an emergency power generator, which is supplying some basic needs, and that another Carnival ship, CARNIVAL ELATION, has transferred provisions to TRIUMPH. The U.S. Coast Guard is also at hand.