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March 1, 2014

OCEAN PHOENIX MedEvac # 3

For the third time this month, a Coast Guard helicopter has retrieved a medical patient off the Bering Sea processing ship Ocean Phoenix.

Tuesday Feb 25 medevac involved a crewman, described as 25 to 30 years old, with a "severe injury to his left hand," the Coast Guard said. The 680-foot Ocean Phoenix was 85 miles northwest of Cold Bay. Coast Guard medevaced the man from OCEAN PHOENIX via helicopter to Cold Bay, and from there he was taken to Providence Medical Center in Anchorage.

The crewman's name and current condition have not been released. At the time of his medevac, winds were at 35mph winds with 10-foot seas.

Previously this month: February 16, one of the crewmen was medevaced for an eye injury, February 13, a 25-year-old crewmember was medevaced because she was experiencing chest pains.

February 20, 2014

OCEAN PHOENIX crewman eye injury

OCEAN PHOENIX crew members contacted the Coast Guard, requesting a medevac for a 30-year-old crewmate who had suffered an eye injury about 34 miles northwest of Cold Bay, Alaska, on Sunday morning.

The Jayhawk crew located the 680-foot fish processing vessel and safely transported the patient to emergency medical services in Cold Bay for a commercial flight to Anchorage for further treatment. The man's name and current condition have not been released.

Seas during the medevac were reported to be eight to ten feet with low visibility and 28mph winds, including intermittent squalls.

"This is the third medevac in a week the forward operating location in Cold Bay has responded to," said Chief Petty Officer Christopher Cole, a watchstander with the Coast Guard 17th District. "FOLs are strategically placed throughout Alaska to minimize the time it takes to respond to incidents like we've seen this week."

February 15, 2014

KATIE ANNE Storm Damage and Injury

Factory trawler 295 foot KATIE ANN had her windows blown out on the bridge on Friday night about 9pm, northwest of Unimak Island, by storm winds which also caused land based damage. The incident was reported in the early morning of Sat, July 8,

The KATIE ANN did not lose power and proceeded to Unalaska, arriving at the Kloosterboer dock without assistance in late afternoon. According to reports, about six crew members were injured and treated at the local clinic, none required further treatment.

January 14, 2014

Eye injury Medevac

A crewman aboard PROWLER, a 109-foot vessel based in Petersburg, was 74 miles southwest of St. Paul, Alaska, when a crewman required emergency medical care for a left-eye injury. The crewman was taken aboard Coast Guard Cutter Munro for assessment, and was airlifted to St. Paul for treatment. Weather at the time of his medevac was reported as calm seas, 11mph winds, and rain showers.

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.

March 8, 2012

Alaskan Trawler Injuries

Within a week, in separate incidents on separate trawlers in Alaska, two men have suffered head injuries from on-board cables.

On Thursday morning, March 1, Andrew Fotu, aged 25, of Seattle, was struck in the head by a snapped cable while working aboard F/V ALASKA JURIS, a 238-foot Fishing Company of Alaska factory trawler. A rescue swimmer, who was lowered from one of the two helicopters deployed by the Coast Guard, determined that Mr. Fotu had died. The ALASKA JURIS crew transported the young man's body to Unalaska.

Monday morning another head injury caused by a cable on board a fishing vessel in Alaska resulted in the Coast Guard emergency medevac by helicopter of 47-year-old Franz D'Alquen to Cold Bay Clinic for initial medical care. Mr. D'Alquen will receive further care in Anchorage. This occurred aboard F/V ALASKA OCEAN, a 376-foot factory trawler owned by Glacier Fish Company of Seattle.

November 2, 2010

Crewman Airlifted from Fishing Vessel

A 22-year old crewman suffering abdominal pains was evacuated by helicopter from the fishing processor PACIFIC GLACIER located about 40 miles west of Grays Harbor. The crewman was taken to Grays Harbor hospital for evaluation and treatment.

October 29, 2010

Court Finds in Favor of Fisherman

A King County Judge has ordered B&N Fisheries to reinstate an injured crewman's maintenance and care benefits.

The Court further ordered the company to authorize surgery for the crewman's elbow and to pay reasonable attorney fees in connection with the motion. B&N Fisheries moved to block the attorney fee award, arguing that only a jury can determine the amount of attorney fees due in a case involving the wrongful withholding of maintenance and care. The Court denied the motion and again affirmed the crewman's right to be compensated for attorney fees.

October 29, 2010

Damages in Wrongful Death

A Washington King County Judge has found in favor of the parents of a deceased fish processor in a wrongful death case.

Vin Phan was killed in an accident aboard the O'Hara Corporation factory trawler ENTERPRISE in June of 2007. Phan was 28 years old and was living with his parents, for whom he provided services and support.

The Phans had immigrated to the United States in 1993 from Vietnam. In Vietnamese cultural, the oldest son resides with his parents through their death. Under the Death on The High Seas Act, parents of deceased crewmen are limited in the types of damages they can recover. There can be no award for love, affection or destruction of the parent-child relationship. Given proper evidentiary proof, parents are entitled to loss of support and service damages.

After trial, Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez awarded Phan's parents compensation for loss of future support and services for the next 29 years. The total award was $522,362.

October 28, 2010

100 Crew Rescued from Fire

A massive fire aboard a fishing boat in the Atlantic Ocean, left approximately 100 crewmembers stranded, before they could be rescued and brought back to shore.

According to news reports, the fire broke out in packing material on board the Athena when the vessel was about 230 nautical miles southwest of the Isles of Sicily.  The approximately 98 crewmembers onboard were forced to abandon ship. The crew members, mostly Russian, Chinese, Peruvian and Scandinavian, floated in the ocean for several hours before they were rescued by a container ship. 13 other crewmembers including the captain, stayed back on the ship to fight the blaze.

The crewmembers were on a boat back to Falmouth, and are expected back on shore late on Thursday. No injuries have been reported, and firefighting crew members are also reported to be safe and sound.

October 11, 2010

Settlement for Fish Processor

A freezer hold crewman injured in a cargo conveyor belt accident reached a confidential settlement with Blue North Fisheries. The case arose out of an accident in the BLUE ATTU's freezer hold while the vessel was fishing in the Bering Sea.

The crewman suffered a comminuted crush to his index finger that required surgical repair with plates and screws. After his initial surgery, the crewman had two additional surgeries to attempt to regain further motion of his index finger. Unfortunately, despite good care, the crewman was left with residual disabilities that prevented him from returning to work as a fish processor.

October 10, 2010

Coast Guard bill covers safety

President Obama is expected to sign a sweeping authorization bill that reorganizes U.S Coast Guard operations, increases maritime safety rules and calls for improved oil-spill prevention and response in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The legislation, largely written by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, was blocked by Republican leaders in the Senate for the past four years. To get approval, several provisions were stripped from the bill in the Senate. Then in the House, many of these ideas were put back in and ultimately approved when it came back to the Senate.

What are the most important parts of the bill? Well, that depends on whether you are involved in the Coast Guard, the shipping industry, the fishing fleet or just want to protect against oil spills or terrorists.

Continue reading "Coast Guard bill covers safety" »

October 8, 2010

Injured Fish Processor Airlifted Off

46-year old fish processor, Mamadou Konato, has been airlifted from the fish processing vessel PACIFIC GLACIER. Konato reportedly suffered severe injuries to his hand while working with machinery aboard the vessel. The accident, 40 miles southwest of Coos Bay, Oregon, is under investigation by the United States Coast Guard.

October 27, 2008

Alaska Fishing Fleet Tragedy - Coast Guard begins hearings

KATMAI, a 93-foot head and gut fishing vessel capsized and sank in the Aleutian Islands early in the morning on Wednesday, October 22. It appears that only four of the KATMAI's eleven crew members survived.

The last communication from the KATMAI was an e-mail reporting water into the lazerette, and loss of steering. The vessel foundered in the trough of 20-foot seas and capsized, casting her crew into the 43 degree waters of the North Pacific.

The Coast Guard has begun hearings in Anchorage to investigate the KATMAI sinking. There will be an opportunity to determine the cause of this sinking.