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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.