Recently in Merchant Mariner Category

September 13, 2015

96ft Tug CHALLENGER sunk

Coast Guard Sector Juneau personnel responded to the sinking of the 96-foot tug Challenger in Juneau's Gastineau Channel, Sunday.

Sector Juneau responders have deployed 400-feet of containment boom at the site of the sinking and are monitoring for further signs of pollution.

Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received the report of the sinking vessel Saturday afternoon and began broadcasting a Notice to Mariners to warn local vessel operators of the hazard to navigation in the channel.

Sector Juneau response personnel opened the pollution response fund to manage the case federally.

Southeast Alaska Lighterage and Global Diving have been contracted to evaluate removing pollution sources on the tug on Monday.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

September 12, 2015

M/V PEGASUS HIGHWAY detained for safety violations

Motor vessel Pegasus Highway was detained by the Coast Guard in the port of Tacoma, Wednesday, due to safety deficiencies including an inoperable fire fire detection system.

The vessel will be required to remain in port until the deficiencies are rectified. 

A Port State Control exam team from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound conducted a routine Port State and International Ship and Port Facility Security exam aboard the Pegasus Highway, a 590-foot, Panamanian-flagged Roll on/ Roll off vessel. While aboard, the Coast Guard discovered multiple areas that did not meet regulations set forth in the Safety of Life at Sea Convention.   

The most severe deficiency involved a fire detection system that was found to be inoperable. Without a properly functioning fire detection system, a fire on a deck carrying vehicles could have burned without the crew receiving an early warning.

During a Port State Control exam, the Coast Guard inspects fire protection, life saving, machinery, navigation, and pollution control systems as well as assesses the crew's ability to respond to onboard emergencies.  A vessel that is determined to be substandard is subject to a detention and must remain in port until it can proceed to sea without presenting a danger to persons on board or without presenting an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment.

August 17, 2015

Unified Command responds to diesel spill in Sitka Sound

A Unified Command has been formed to respond to a release of diesel fuel from the Jarvis St. Power Plant over the weekend.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation pollution responders from Juneau and members of Marine Safety Detachment Sitka are coordinating clean-up efforts with the City of Sitka, National Park Service and tribal organizations.

City of Sitka personnel received a report Saturday of diesel washing ashore in Sitka Sound. City of Sitka notified MSD Sitka personnel who responded and recovered approximately 50 gallons of diesel.

The source was identified from the Jarvis St. Power Plant, Sunday, which had released an estimated 30,000 gallons of diesel into the storage tank facility's secondary containment. An estimated 2,500 gallons of diesel leaked into the storm drain system and into Sitka Sound due to a reported failure of the drain valve.

The models suggest that the amount of diesel that has evaporated since the release is significant.

The containment drain was secured and all diesel in the containment was pumped out recovering an estimated 23,000 gallons. 

An aggressive response has been mounted to minimize the amount of diesel reaching Sitka Sound.  Recovery of oil in the storm drain system and at the outfall of the storm drain with containment boom absorbent materials continues.

There were no reports of injuries, no confirmed reports of impacts to wildlife or the resources of the National Park.

"Cleanup efforts are continuing and we hope to mitigate the effects of the spill and remove the threat of pollution to the environment as quickly as possible," said Chief Warrant Officer Michael Wortman, federal on-scene coordinator. "The Coast Guard will continue to work alongside our federal, state, and local partner agencies in response to this spill."
The cause of the spill is currently under investigation.

August 3, 2015

Recreational-Commercial Vessel collisions

The Coast Guard is investigating a possible collision between a commercial vessel and recreational vessels during the Red Bull Flugtag event on the Willamette River near Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Saturday.

An investigating officer from Marine Safety Unit Portland visited the motor vessel Portland Spirit and conducted interviews with crewmembers on Sunday.

MSU Portland revoked the marine event permit for the Red Bull Flugtag event Saturday afternoon, before the reported collision, for the safety of the waterway and the safety of all waterway users.  Spectators were obstructing the channel and restricted its use by waterway users.  The Red Bull event staff was unable to control event spectators and as a result could not prevent hazardous conditions as required by the event permit. 

Event organizers are required by the marine event permit to ensure no restriction is placed on the use of navigable waters by participants or spectators, and that the event shall not obstruct any channel or normal shipping lane, or interfere with any aid to navigation.

Coast Guard personnel on scene observed more than 500 recreational vessels, personal watercraft and paddlecraft. Event organizers listed the expected number of spectator craft at 100 vessels on their marine event permit application.

A Coast Guard boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Portland and three Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels were on scene to assist event organizers in maintaining a clear waterway and respond to any emergent issues involving spectator safety.  Throughout the day, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Warrenton, Ore., broadcast a safety marine information broadcast instructing spectators to make way and clear the channel to allow commercial traffic to safely transit the area.

The Coast Guard is investigating any actions taken by parties on the water that may have been in violation of maritime law or federal navigation rules.

July 14, 2015

52-year-old Medevaced 150 miles south of Kodiak, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrew medevaced a 52-year-old man from the 600-foot cargo vessel Elsa, approximately 150 miles south of Kodiak, Tuesday.

The MH-60 Jayhawk crew safely hoisted the man and transported him to Kodiak Providence Medical Center for further care.

Watchstanders from Coast Guard District 17 command center received a report Monday evening from the crew of the Elsa that the crewmember was suffering from symptoms of a stroke. Watchstanders conferred with the duty flight surgeon who recommended 4-hour scheduled communications with the vessel to monitor the crewmember's condition.
Tuesday afternoon the crew reported to watchstanders that the crewmember was suffering from convulsions. Watchstanders notified the duty flight surgeon who recommended immediate medevac.

Weather on scene was reported as 15-mph winds and 8-foot seas.

June 5, 2015

Grounded barge Bethel, Alaska

Coast Guard is responding to a barge grounded on the Kongiganak River near Bethel Friday.

The barge DBL165-1 grounded Wednesday with 50,000 gallons of jet fuel, 17,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 1,000 gallons of regular unleaded fuel aboard while being pushed by the tug vessel Nanchik. Attempts at re-floating the barge at high tide have failed.

An examination of the barge revealed no damage to the tanks or hull. A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules plane crew from Air Station Kodiak conducted an over flight of the vessel. No pollution or injuries have been reported.

"Our way forward is to continue working with the vessel owner and response crews to re-float the barge," said Cmdr. Shane Montoya, deputy commander, Sector Anchorage. "The safety of responders and the environment are our top priorities, and there have not been any reports or signs of pollution."

A Coast Guard pollution responder and marine inspector are scheduled to conduct onsite assessments of the response.

The weather on scene is calm with good visibility.

June 4, 2015

Medevac from DS PATRIOT

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman medevaced a crewmember from the DS Patriot, a 996-foot long container vessel, approximately 58 miles southeast of Dutch Harbor Wednesday night. 

Watchstanders from Marine Safety Unit Dutch Harbor received an email from the crew of the DS Patriot requesting the medevac of a 33-year-old man reportedly suffering symptoms of pneumonia.

The MH-65 helicopter crew hoisted the man and transported him to Dutch Harbor.  The man was then transferred to EMS personal and flown to Anchorage for further treatment.

"Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter crews often deploy aboard flight deck equipped cutters throughout Alaska," said Petty Officer 1st Class Amy Canny, a watchstander at 17th District Command Center. "They are valuable assets that help us respond to mariners in distress throughout the state."

The weather on scene was reported as 17 mph winds and 6-foot seas.

June 2, 2015

Good Samaritans rescue boaters in Alaska

Local mariners came to the aid of a vessel in Pigot Bay near Whittier Friday and two vessels near Valdez and Kodiak Monday.

The 38-foot vessel Molly B was disabled in Pigot Bay due to engine trouble Friday. The operator contacted Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders who issued a Marine Assistance Request Broadcast over VHF/FM radio, channel 16. The crew of the vessel Sea Sport responded and stayed on scene until the crew of another vessel, the High Velocity, arrived to assist in repairs and escort the Molly B safely into Whittier Harbor.

Monday evening, the crew of the vessel Noni B contacted the Sector Anchorage command center to report they were disabled and adrift approximately three miles north of Hinchinbrook Island. Sector Anchorage dispatched a 45-foot Response Boat - Medium crew from Station Valdez to respond, and the crew of the vessel Lena Claire responded to the MARB.  The crew of the Lena Claire took the Noni B in tow, anchored the vessel in Sung Cove and safely transferred the three passengers to Valdez.

Also Monday evening, the crew of the fishing vessel Mariner reported being disabled and adrift in Shelikof Strait near Kodiak. Watchstanders at the Sector Anchorage command center lost communications with the Mariner and dispatched a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to locate the Mariner and regain communication. The crew of the fishing vessel Vaerdal responded and towed the Mariner safely into Kodiak City today.

"The Coast Guard appreciates members of the community for using their time and resources to aid fellow mariners in their time of need," said Coast Guard Cmdr. Shawn Decker, chief of response, Sector Anchorage. "These cases illustrate how invaluable good Samaritans are to the Coast Guard and boating community."

May 27, 2015

UPDATE: Cleanup aboard Thor's Hammer

A Unified Command consisting of representatives from the Coast Guard, Department of the Interior, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, City of Seldovia and the responsible party, formed to respond to a 6,000 gallon diesel fuel discharge into the Gulf of Alaska has completed fuel removal from the damaged tank trailer aboard the motor vessel Thor's Hammer Tuesday. 

Response crews and contractors from Alaska Chadux Corporation removed the 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel remaining in the punctured tank, as well as 28 bags of oily waste collected by the motor vessel Thor's Hammer's crew. The 6,000 gallons of spilled diesel is no longer recoverable due to weathering and evaporation. 

A Western Alaska Captain of the Port Order required the motor vessel Thor's Hammer to remain in Seldovia until the vessel was cleaned and determined to be safe for transit to Homer.  The vessel was later authorized to proceed to Homer where Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Homer personnel are scheduled to conduct a safety examination.  The Captain of the Port Order also required the Thor's Hammer to remain in Homer until determined safe for commercial operation.  The Coast Guard is currently conducting an investigation into the operations of the vessel.
"Ensuring safe navigation and preventing environmental impacts on the vital waters of Western Alaska are two of my highest priorities," said Capt. Paul Mehler III, Captain of the Port, Western Alaska.  "As such, our crews have been working closely with other members of the Unified Command to reduce the risk of further impact to the environment."  

April 28, 2015

Bulk Carrier detained: safety violations

The 738-foot bulk carrier Kind Seas, was detained by USCG when significant safety violations were found during an inspection in Kalama, Washington, Friday.

Coast Guard inspectors from the Marine Safety Unit in Portland discovered discrepancies during a routine inspection of the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, built in 1998. 

Safety violations related to a complete failure of the emergency generator, which provides power to emergency equipment including the emergency firefighting pump system. Other discrepancies include deficient structural fire boundary doors to prevent the spread of a fire, inoperable bilge pumps, waste oil accumulation in engine compartments, and inoperable life saving communication equipment.

"Shipboard fires pose severe risk to vessel crews, the vessel, and the port," said Capt. Patrick Ropp, commanding officer and officer in charge of marine inspection at MSU Portland. "The deficiencies were determined to pose significant risk to the vessel's crew and the marine environment indicating that the vessel is unfit to proceed to sea."

Coast Guard vessel inspectors are working with the Kind Seas' flag state and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, the vessel's classification society responsible for certificating vessel construction and engineering, and the vessel's crew, owner, and managing company to make essential repairs.

The Kind Seas, owned by Fairplay Maritime Ltd., is a bulk carrier, which loaded corn and wheat in Kalama and will depart for Japan after the safety violations have been corrected.

November 19, 2014

MYKONOS SEAS Crewman medevaced

A Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter medevaced an injured crewman from the bulk carrier MYKONOS SEAS located approximately 75 miles southeast of Cold Bay, AK on November 16, 2014.

The 17th District Coast Guard Command Center, received a call from the carrier's crew requesting medical help for the injured crewmember. The duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac. They flew to the ship, hoisted the crewmember aboard in 11 mph winds and 3' seas. At Cold Bay the crewman received medical care and was flown to Anchorage for additional medical assistance.

November 18, 2014

Intoxicated Captain arrested.

A crew-member aboard the vessel POLAR BEAR called 911 to report that the highly intoxicated captain had run the landing craft aground on Gull Island, near Kodiak, AK harbor.

The Kodiak police reported receiving the 911 call on November 16, 2014 and arrived at the scene of the grounding with assistance from the Kodiak Harbor Master's Office. They found Edward Dyer, 50, highly intoxicated. Police charged Dyer with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, and fourth-degree assault.

November 9, 2014

Rainbow Quest hits Brooklyn Bridge

At about 10:30 pm, the evening of November 7, 2014, the 590 foot cargo ship RAINBOW QUEST tallest mast clipped the bottom of the Brooklyn Bridge bridge linking Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Ali Flockerzi said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had already scheduled a routine closure of the bridge late Friday and inspected the span when it was closed. She said there was no damage to the bridge. No injuries were reported.

October 26, 2014

Un-manned barge drifting for Prudhoe Bay

A 134 ft un-manned barge, adrift in the Beaufort Sea after its towline snapped, is headed towards Prudhoe Bay. The barge, carrying 950 gallons of diesel fuel, broke free from the tow vessel and is being driven by high winds into US waters. The Canadian Coast Guard has issued a Notice to Shipping to advise mariners operating in the area.

The US Coast Guard has deployed aircraft to locate the barge and likely trajectory.

Commander Shawn Decker, US Coast Guard Chief of Response, Sector Anchorage said it could be difficult because ice is forming on the Beaufort Sea, and officials have very few vessel options to retrieve the barge.

Weather on scene is reported as 40 mph winds and 12-foot seas.

October 20, 2014

Russian cargo ship adrift

A Russian cargo ship en route to Russia from Washington state that lost power on Thursday night west of the Haida Gwaii archipelago, off B.C.'s north coast, has docked in Prince Rupert. A mechanical failure left the Simushir drifting in heavy seas during the night.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority says the Simushir has been towed to the Fairview Container Terminal, and the vessel is expected to stay for 48 hours for repairs.

A U.S. tug boat arrived Saturday night to tow the disabled ship to port, after a tow line from a Canadian Coast Guard ship snapped three times and set the Simushir adrift again.

The vessel was carrying hundreds of tonnes of bunker and diesel fuel, creating concerns that it could create an environmental disaster.

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