Recently in Merchant Mariner Category

June 6, 2014

One Dead - Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak aboard a fishing vessel in St. Herman Harbor left one fisherman hospitalized and another dead yesterday.

The Kodiak Police Department and fire and rescue personnel responded to a report of a Freon leak aboard the boat Alpine Cove. Freon is a caustic chemical used in refrigeration systems.

A press release from the police department said five crewmembers were evacuated from the boat and officers provided immediate medical attention until EMS personnel arrived. Two crewmembers were ultimately transported to the hospital where 30-year-old Cody Cecil of Everett, Wash., was pronounced dead.

The other crewmember, 56-year-old Francis Rutten of Snohomish, Wash., is being treated at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center for exposure to Freon.

Nearby vessels were evacuated yesterday by harbormaster staff as a precaution to the chemical release.

A preliminary investigation revealed that repair work was being done to the Alpine Cove on Tuesday night, but it is unclear if that work is related to the Freon leak. The incident is still under investigation by the police department and the Marine Safety Detachment of the U.S. Coast Guard.

May 16, 2014

Environmental emergency declared

The Ministry of Environment of Ecuador declared an environmental emergency situation in the Galapagos Islands because of the risk of oil leakage and chemicals from the "Galapaface 1" on May 15. The decision was taken after it was found that the contaminated waste may be leaking out at sea and cause a risk to in the fragile ecosystem of the archipelago.

The state of environmental emergency was allowing the government to act quickly and facilitate the acquisition of services to tow the vessel off one week after it grounded at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. While much of the ship's 72,000 liters of fuel has been removed, there still was the risk of sinking with the engine oil and cleaning products that were in the hold of the ship still on board.

Continue reading "Environmental emergency declared" »

March 16, 2014

Welding Explosion

A crewman died this week in an explosion aboard the Bering Sea factory trawler Alaska Ocean, Unalaska police said.

Preliminary investigation found that welding set off gas inside a storage locker that held a leaking acetylene tank, said Mike Holman, Unalaska deputy chief.

The blast unhinged the locker door, which struck Franz d'Alquen, 48, from Arizona. He was declared deceased shortly thereafter.

The accident happened at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday. The Alaska Ocean was about 165 miles out of Unalaska at the time.

The 376-foot vessel belongs to Seattle-based Glacier Fish Co.

The body has been sent to the state medical examiner's office, Holman said.

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.

January 31, 2014

T/V EAGLE Crewman Medevaced

98-foot T/V EAGLE in Elliott Bay contacted the Coast Guard Seattle on the morning of Jan 31, for assistance with a crewmate who had suffered a ribcage injury. The injured man was transferred from EAGLE to a Coast Guard response boat and taken to the Seattle Fire Station pier where an emergency team was waiting.

The man's name or the exact nature of his injury hasn't been released, but according to reports, he was heaving a line when he was injured. Records indicate that EAGLE is owned by Pacific Coast Maritime, Inc., of Seattle.

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.

January 12, 2014

Crew member foot severed

MISS AUBREY ANN, a 100-foot offshore supply vessel hailing out of Broussard, LA, contacted the Coast Guard for help, Jan 9, at 4:00 p.m. A crewman had reportedly caught his foot in a line, which severed the foot. MISS AUBREY ANN was about five miles off Louisiana at that time.

The Coast Guard responded with a helicopter medevac, and transported the injured man to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. The 27-year-old man's name and current condition have not been released, but he has been reported in stable condition.

November 16, 2013

One Dead Three Rescued

Windy weather with high waves in Elliott Bay, Seattle caused a 30-foot dive survey vessel from Ballard Marine Construction, with five crewmembers on board, to capsize in the waves, throwing all five into the frigid waters.

The Coast Guard answered the call at 2 in the morning with two boat crews. Seattle Fire and Seattle Police Departments also responded to the emergency.

One of the crew was picked up from the water by the Seattle Police Department, and the Coast Guard picked up another three. The fifth man trapped in the cold water under the capsized boat wasn't located for about an half-hour. Four of the rescued crew were taken for medical treatment, and are said to be in good condition. The crewman who had been trapped under the hull remained unresponsive in spite of CPR and care at Harborview Medical Center, and he died later that day. The name of the man has not yet been released.

June 2, 2013


HOUSTON, TX -- The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a collision between two deep draft ships approximately 30 miles off the coast of Galveston on Thursday, May 30, after watchstanders at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Texas City received a report.

The incident occurred when the 900-foot Tank Vessel Profit, loaded with approximately 19 million gallons of crude oil, collided with the 625-foot Motor Vessel Imperial Spirit loaded with grain. Both vessels reported damage, but are in stable condition. There were no reports of injuries or pollution from either vessel.

The Coast Guard launched an Air Station Houston helicopter with a pollution incident responder to conduct an initial damage assessment. Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack was also launched with a team of incident responders, marine inspectors, and marine casualty investigators to conduct an investigation and reduce further risk to the environment or the mariners aboard the two vessels.

May 29, 2013

Chevron Tug Sinks

On May 26, a tug boat contracted by Chevron sank in rough seas off the coast of Nigeria. The fate of its twelve person crew is uncertain as all men are still missing.

Chevron Nigeria states the JASCON-4 capsized early in the morning when it encountered "heavy ocean swells" at a mooring point around 20 miles off the coast.

Ship owner West African Ventures said, "Unfortunately all twelve crew members are still missing. Rescue operations involving sea divers are still ongoing and a full investigation into the incident is taking place."

April 18, 2013

Tugboat Hits Submerged Object, Sinks

100 ft tugboat, Kaleen McAllister, sank off Pier 3 in Locust Point, Balitmore on May 4th.
Reportedly everyone had left the tugboat safely by the time it sank.

Apparently the tugboat struck a submerged object, leaving it damaged and taking on water.

The Baltimore Sun reported:

The Coast Guard "got a report that they were taking on water" sometime before midnight, Marin said, referring to the tugboat. Nearby tugs, including the Robert E. McAllister and Dann Marine Towing's Treasure Coast and Sun Coast, tried to assist the vessel but were unsuccessful, Reagoso said.

Efforts to pump water out of the tug faster than it was coming in failed, Marin said, and it sank at the pier, which is used by McAllister. The vessel began to sink about 7:30 p.m. and was submerged before 10 p.m., Reagoso said.

According to marine records, the tug is 102 feet long and was built in 1970. It had 22,900 gallons of fuel and 710 gallons of oil on board.

There was a report of a "small leak" of diesel fuel and lube oil after the tug sank, Marin said. The site has been "boomed off" to prevent any further spread of the leak, he said. McAllister notified an environmental cleanup firm it has on contract, Miller Environmental Group, Reagoso said.

The incident remains under investigation at this time.

April 18, 2013

Two Barge Collision - Six Missing

Two Chinese barges, both carrying construction waste and sand collided in thick fog near Hong Kong. Six people were missing.

The force of the impact threw eleven crew members of one barge into the sea; that vessel sank very quickly after the crash. Five of the crew members were rescued, suffering from various injuries, but six could not be found. Divers continued to search the scene for the remaining crew members.

A statement from the Hong Kong marine department said, "The rescuers have searched for them overnight but we are still looking for the six missing."

April 18, 2013

Fuel Barges Explode

Two fuel barges near Mobile, Alabama, close to the renown Carnival Triumph, exploded this Wednesday, resulting in two severe fires aboard. This explosion and subsequent fires resulted in critical burn injuries of 3 individuals who were on board the barge at the time of the incident. Fire and rescue officials at the scene of the incident let the flames burn through the night.

U.S. Coast Guard officials and firefighter responders share that they received the call about the explosion around 8:30 p.m. after the explosion which took place on two oil barges. Responders arrived at the scene, and about an hour later, a third explosion occurred at the scene, followed by another three over the next several hours.

Reports from the scene also show that the Carnival Triumph cruise line was moored for repairs on the other side of the river, and the workers living on the ship for the repairs have been evacuated.

April 16, 2013

Heavy wind

As a result of heavy winds, a BAE guard shack and two men who were working in it were blown off the dock and into the water. One of the men was rescued, but crews are still on the look-out for the other man, who remains missing, although theĀ formal search for him has been suspended.

April 15, 2013

Tug Delta Captain sunk

The Coast Guard received a distress called from the tug Delta Captain and launched rescue crews; a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Monterey, the Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye -- an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat home ported in Bodega Bay -- and an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station San Francisco.

The rescue helicopter crew located the survivors of the Delta Captain and deployed a rescue swimmer to hoist them aboard. All four were transported to shore in Monterey, and transferred to awaiting emergency medical technicians. There were no reports of injuries.

The tug Delta Captain sank and may still be attached via towline to the barge.