MARITIME CASUALTY - WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHY

Our mission is to investigate and discover the facts and real reason for marine casualties what really happened and why. For years we have gone beyond the headlines and looked for real answers.

Injury at Sea is representing crew members from the sinking of the F/V Laura after the Coast Guard rescued the crewmen from a survival raft. Their fishing vessel the Laura had run aground was taking on water and they were forced to abandon ship.

Fatigue may have been a contributing factor. Applicable maritime law accepts, while a crew member may have caused or contributed to the accident, nonetheless the employer boat-owner may be held liable if fatigue/over work was part of the cause.

Injury at Sea is dedicated to ensuring justice for mariners, and our ongoing investigations continue with the intention of discovering the facts of the case and ensuring compensation for fishermen and all mariners where it is due.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

Coast Guard rescued five people from a life raft late Monday after the 67 foot fishing vessel Desire sank approximately 20 miles offshore from the mouth of the Umpqua River.

A sinking vessel is a much more dangerous circumstance than most workers face, and the law of the land provides protection and compensation for those suffering from such perils according to who found to be at fault. An experienced Maritime Law firm specializing in these matters can make sure the crew involved is properly taken care of.

About 9pm the captain aboard the 67-foot fishing vessel Desire, homeported in Neah Bay, Washington, called for help on VHF radio and reported the vessel was taking on water. He also reported they were preparing to abandon ship into a life raft. Desire’s EPRIB was activated and the vessel’s location and owner information was transmitted to Coast Guard.

Rescue helicopter from Newport and North Bend, and 47-foor Motor Lifeboat rescue boatcrews from the Siuslaw River and Umpqua River deployed. Once on scene at about 9:30 pm, the helicopter crews located the survivors in the life raft and rescue swimmers facilitated hoisting the survivors. While the helicopter crew rescued the survivors, the Coast Guard boat-crews remained on scene to assist.

“The fishing boat’s crew all had survival suits, properly deployed their survival raft, and shot two flares to assist us in locating them,” said Lt. Conor Regan, a helicopter pilot from Coast Guard Air Station North Bend. Additionally, Regan added that the EPIRB’s transmission allowed watchstanders to confirm details of the radio distress call and expedite the rescue.

Following the successful hoists of all five people from the life raft, the survivors were taken to Air Station North Bend where their care was transferred to awaiting emergency services personnel. In this case there may be no visible injuries but many mariners are not so lucky and need legal help to determine their rights and get compensation when it is due.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard rescued four crewmen from a survival raft about 13 nautical miles west of Cape Ommaney, Alaska. Their fishing vessel the 53 ft Julia Breeze was taking on water and they were forced to abandon ship.

Situations like this could easily be injurious to health or prove fatal. In this case the crew appear to be unharmed, however, a full enquiry by experienced attorneys can determine if there is compensation due for the impact of the hazardous and distressing situation they faced abandoning ship in a remote location uncertain of rescue but very certain of the dangers they were facing.

The helicopter crew found them about an hour later and hoisted all four survivors and transported them to Air Station Sitka where they were met by local EMS. All four people were reported to be in stable condition.

The VHF channel 16 distress call from the crew of the 53-foot fishing vessel Julia Breeze at approximately 10:40 p.m. The crew reported they were taking on water and abandoning ship near Cape Ommaney. The rescue helicopter launched about five minutes later at approximately 10:45 p.m. and arrived on scene at approximately 11:40 p.m. They located a debris field in the water and all crew people wearing survival suits in a survival raft.

Nicholas Meyer, Sector Juneau command duty officer said, “Their EPIRB confirmed their distress location allowing our aircrew’s timely response, and the survival suits and raft greatly contributed to their safety.”

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

A Coast Guard helicopter crew deployed a rescue swimmer to hoist the crew-members from the sinking F/V Laura, and safely transported them to Air Station Kodiak.

The emergency call from the master of the fishing vessel Laura came in at 7 a.m., saying that the vessel had run aground and the crew was abandoning ship in the life rafts.

These crewmen were lucky to be rescued apparently unscathed. The cause of the trauma they were put through deserves a thorough knowledgable investigation. A competent experienced attorney can determine if they have a case for collecting compensation.

A C-130 Hercules and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter located the fishermen with the assistance of the good Samaritan fishing vessel Stillwater crew.

“We want to stress the importance of having proper survival gear on board in case of emergencies,” said Lt. Jacob Rettig, an Air Station Kodiak operations duty officer. “In this case, the crew had survival suits, flares, and strobe lights, which aided in locating and rescuing the crew safely and efficiently.”

The Coast Guard is scheduled to investigate the cause of the incident.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The cargo ship Zim Kingston piled high with containers anchored about 5 miles offshore from Victoria, British Columbia, after losing 40 containers Friday in the gigantic storm east of Vancouver Island, caught fire Saturday and around 6 p.m. Canadian authorities have advised the crew to abandon ship.

The ship was imperiled when listing 35 degrees in heavy seas and losing 40 containers, some containing hazardous materials.

The Victoria-based lifeboat Cape Calvert and firefighting tugs were standing by near the stricken ship to assess the unfolding situation and monitor the safety of the crew.

The fire was caused by a combustible chemical powder spilling from containers that were damaged in the Friday night storm as the ship, arriving from South Korea, approached the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. At that time, about 40 of the ship’s containers tumbled into the Pacific Ocean in rough seas.

A navigation warning has been sent to all ships in the area, instigating a 1-mile exclusion zone was in effect around the container ship in the vicinity of Constance Bank “due to danger of falling containers.”

“The ship is on fire and expelling toxic gas. Two fallen containers are floating in the vicinity of the vessel,” the warning said.

A Canadian Coast Guard surveillance aircraft circled overhead Saturday afternoon, while smoke billowed from the ship and radio communications indicated a fire spreading out of the crew’s control.

The crew has been imperiled and is still at risk. Maritime Laws are in place to reduce the dangers of maritime employment. In this case significant investigations will be needed to get to the bottom of what went wrong and who is responsible. Then crew can be compensated justly for the dangers they have had to face.

This story is not over yet. We can only hope there will be no loss of life or further significant other losses incurred in the incident.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards responded to the container vessel Zim Kingston that lost 40 containers during heavy weather Friday 40 miles from the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Notification came from Prince Rupert Marine Communication and Traffic Services at 12:49 a.m. Friday that the vessel Zim Kingston reported losing approximately 40 containers overboard when the vessel heeled 35 degrees in heavy swells 38 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The lost containers were initially reported to be general containers with no dangerous cargo.

That report was updated at 2pm reporting two containers had dangerous materials.

No injuries were reported to any crew members.

The Coast Guard conducted a flyover at 10 a.m. An Air Station Port Angeles crew was able to locate 35 of the containers, and deployed a self-locating datum marker buoy to monitor the movement of the containers.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian agencies continue to monitor the shipping containers.

Zim Kingston moored 5 miles from Victoria, British Columbia.

Then, at approximately 11:11 a.m. Saturday Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria reported to the Zim Kingston to have two containers on fire. Sector Puget Sound and RCC Victoria arranged an overflight to monitor the area. Coast Guard did an overflight to capture imagery.

Both the US Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard continue to broadcast warnings as the containers pose a significant risk to mariners.

The safety of the remaining crew on the ship, and the responders on the water, is the top priority as the response operations proceed. Unified Command is working through the Emergency Management British Columbia network through local communities to broadcast public safety information as required. Further updates will be provided once the response is underway.

This is a serious incident that is still unfolding. Crew are still in harms way as the situation develops and their wellbeing is at risk.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard medevaced a badly injured crewman from fishing boat Patricia Lee Tuesday approximately 200 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor.

The initial request for the medevac came from the Patricia Lee at about 4 p.m. Tuesday. The master reported a crew member had sustained serious injuries to his pelvic region after becoming pinned by a crab pot about 225 miles west of Dutch Harbor.

Work at sea can be hazardous. The law tries to ensure risks are minimised but when things go wrong the resulting injuries can be devastating or fatal.

A Coast Guard helicopter hoisted the injured man from the 117-foot, commercial fishing vessel Patricia Lee at about 11:50 p.m. He was flown to Dutch Harbor and placed in the care of LifeMed personnel.

The helicopter crew launched from Cold Bay, while the Patricia Lee made way toward Dutch Harbor. A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft crew and an additional MH-60 Jayhawk aircraft crew were launched from Air Station Kodiak to provide back up.

A livelihood lost to an accident disrupts whole families. Expert attorneys can determine what went wrong, establish liability, and pursue legal remedies so proper compensation can enable a family to survive the events.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan vessel the Quinault rescued the crew of three from 48-foot fishing vessel Garda Marie taking on water Friday one mile north of Tatoosh Island near Cape Flattery. The Garda Marie sank.

The report came in at 1:15 a.m. Friday that the 48-foot commercial fishing vessel Garda Marie was taking on water. Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast (UMIB), diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast and crew and directed the launch of air and boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Neah Bay and Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles.

The good Samaritan vessel Quinnault responded to the UMIB and arrived on scene within 20 minutes. The Quinnault crew transferred all three from the Garda Marie to their vessel with no reported injuries.

A Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Lifeboat escorted the Quinnault to shore, while a second 47-foot MLB crew reported finding a debris field and recovered an electronic position indicating radio beacon activated on the Garda Marie. The Garda Marie reportedly had approximately 400 gallons of diesel on board.

The cause of the sinking is unknown at this time. Could it have been equipment failure, or human error? An expert attorney could determine if the crewmen whose lives were in danger in this case could possibly be due compensation.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Polyak, command duty officer for Sector Puget Sound said “While the loss of the fishing vessel is unfortunate, given the dangerous conditions offshore, the quick response from all responding parties resulted in three lives saved.”

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

A crewman went missing from the fishing vessel Stormie B. The crewmember in an inflatable boat powered by two oars, was wearing a survival suit with strobe. The Coast Guard was able to find him, deploy a rescue swimmer, hoist the crewman and safely transport him to the local cannery near Lazy Bay in Kodiak, Alaska.

The call for help came from the master of the fishing vessel Stormie B at 12:36 a.m., who notified the Coast guard of an overdue crewmember in the inflatable boat powered by two oars. The crew of the Stormie B reportedly spent two hours searching but were unable to find the missing man. Sector watchstanders directed the launch of an aircrew from Air Station Kodiak and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Naushon. The aircrew was able to locate the overdue crewmember, who was wearing a survival suit with a strobe light activated, which possible saved his life.

This man was saved. He could have died. Maritime injury specialists can determine when and how much compensation might be due in case of injury or death due to improper equipment, failure to follow safety procedures, failure to meet safety regulations, etc.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard medevaced a woman Wednesday from the cruise ship Celebrity Millennium in Chatham Strait, near Sitka. The aircrew retrieved the woman at approximately 10 a.m. and transferred her to Sitka, for further transport to a higher level of care.

Maritime Law is complex and includes rights for those who might need medical care. Vessel operators must ensure suitable care is available and can be held liable for not living up to their legal responsibilities.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center received the request for a medevac from the cruise ship Celebrity Millennium at approximately 8 a.m. for a 55-year-old passenger who was suffering from chest pain. Watchstanders directed the launch of the Jayhawk aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka.

It takes an expert to find out what happened and get compensation for injured parties in cases where legal responsibilities have not been met.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

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