MARITIME CASUALTY - WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHY

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Articles Posted in Crabbers

The Coast Guard has closed all maritime entrances in the Pacific Northwest, Friday, due to severe  sea conditions and large amounts of debris in the water.

In Oregon, the ports of Chetco River in Brookings; Coos Bay; Umpqua River in Winchester Bay; Siuslaw River in Florence; Yaquina Bay in Newport; Depoe Bay; Tillamook Bay in Girabaldi; and the Columbia River are closed to all traffic. 

In Washington the port of Grays Harbor in Westport; and Quillayute River in LaPush are closed.

A crab fisherman reportedly injured his abdomen while pulling crab pots in Shelikof (SHELL’-luh-cough) Strait on the F/V IRENE H on Jan 13, 2015. Crew from the vessel called the Coast Guard to request medical assistance. Kodiak Coast Guard Air Station responded with a Jayhawk helicopter.

Weather conditions were reportedly 25 mph winds and 7-foot seas.

“The operation was challenging from the start,” said Lt. Greg Dahl, pilot of the Jayhawk. “The dynamic weather conditions made for a rough ride but once on scene, the captain and crew of the vessel were very cooperative which enabled us to smoothly execute a successful rescue.”

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter conducted a medevac this morning for a man who was ‘suffering from numerous injuries after a crab pot fell on him.’

The injury occurred aboard the F/V Miss Courtney Kim near Sanak Island, the Coast Guard said.

The patient, who wasn’t identified, was picked up at King Cove and carried to Cold Bay. From there, he was transferred to Anchorage.

The Arctic Hunter is no longer a salvage operation — Dan Magone of Resolve-Magone Marine Services says the grounded crab boat is officially a wreck. His crews returned to the ship today for the first time in more than a week.

“We found that, as we suspected, the hull damage is much more severe now than after the initial grounding because of that storm that happened about a week ago,” Magone says.

And he says that level of damage means insurance will treat the vessel as a wreck removal, which can be more expensive than a salvage operation.

The 93-foot crab boat has survived a series of storms this week without breaking apart. But salvagers haven’t been able to work on the vessel since last weekend.

“We’ve got seas building out there that are expected to stay [as] big onshore swells until sometime next week, so we’re not too sure when we’re gonna get back out there,” Magone said of salvage efforts.

Meanwhile, Magone says debris like toolboxes and a survival suit from the Arctic Hunter is starting to wash up on the beach. He says he expects the vessel’s condition to keep deteriorating in the bad weather before salvagers can return.

After leaving Dutch Harbor early morning Fri Nov 1, the ARCTIC HUNTER, a 93-foot crabber, ran aground on the rocks near Morris Cove and became partially submerged.

Numerous vessels responded to the Mayday. SAGA SEA was first on the scene to rescue the six man crew. There were no reported crew injuries.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation by the Coast Guard. The Captain of the vessel reportedly failed one of two sobriety tests. Reports say the captain claimed he had a beer after the ARCTIC HUNTER went aground and before abandoning ship. Other reports have suggested the captain fell asleep at the wheel.

Six crew members of a Cambodian crab fishing boat died on May 16 in a fire on their ship. The vessel was anchored in a Japanese port at the time.

A total of 23 crew members were on board the vessel at the time of the fire. In addition to the six that were killed, two other crew members were hospitalized for burns.

The fire burned for about 11 hours before it was extinguished. The six bodies were retrieved after the fire was extinguished and water was pumped out of the vessel.

The Coast Guard will again be conducting Operation Safe Crab to reduce the loss of lives and fishing vessels in the west coast crab fleet.

Coast Guard personnel will be available on the docks for dockside exams in ports from Monterey, Calif., to Crescent City, Calif., Nov. 6-8 to help identify and mitigate safety hazards in the crab fleet.

Coast Guard personnel will be walking the docks and informing commercial crab vessel operators of the required lifesaving equipment for their vessels, as well as pot-loading practices affecting vessel stability and watertight integrity. The 2010 Authorization Act changed the law for commercial fishing vessels, making it mandatory for vessels operating outside of three nautical miles to have a dockside examination after Oct. 15, 2012. Dockside exams have reduced the number of casualties and helped identify potential problems. 11th Coast Guard District statistics show nearly one-third of Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons and life rafts carried on board were incorrectly installed. This type of situation is easily corrected and can help prevent a disaster at sea. Those vessels with serious safety discrepancies, such as overloading, lack of watertight integrity, missing primary life saving equipment or non-functioning EPIRB’s, can be restricted from operating until the discrepancies are corrected.

The 30-foot fishing vessel ELLA ANN sank at the mouth of Willapa Bay on Sunday while fishing for dungeness crab. One of two crewmen, 34 year old Luis Perez was tragically lost. The caused of the capsize and sinking is unknown, but will be investigated by the Coast Guard. The captain of the vessel, Eric Petit, was revived with CPR by a helicopter crew after he was rescued.

Coast Guard is implementing Operation Safe Crab for the 2010 Dungeness Crab Season. On November 9th through 11th the Coast Guard will be conducting dockside examinations in California ports preparing for the start of the Dungeness Crab season on November 15th.

The spot checks emphasize life saving equipment, pot loading practices and stability and vessel watertight integrity. Statistics from previous years indicate that as many as one third of the crab boats inspected had incorrectly installed EPIRBS and life rafts.

The Coast Guard hopes that the inspections can lead to immediate corrections and needless loss of lives. The West Coast Dungeness Crab fishery is one of the most deadly of all fisheries. Smaller vessels working in extreme weather put crewmen at serious risk for injury and death.

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