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Articles Posted in Ferry Workers

American Seafoods reports that 86 crew of the 272-foot trawler, American Dynasty, which carries up to 142 crew, have tested positive for COVID-19. The American Dynasty has returned to its homeport of Seattle and is currently on lockdown. Crew members are in quarantine and being monitored by medical personnel.

While American Dynasty was docked in Bellingham one crew member became ill and was taken to hospital. That crewman tested positive for COVID-19 and remains in hospital.

According to American Seafoods, all crew were tested for COVID-19 before boarding the vessel. Only those who tested negative for the virus were allowed to board.

The novel coronavirus may be an inconvenience for some but other individuals have more severe symptoms that can lead to permanent mental and physical impairment, or death. COVID-19 outbreaks and positive tests among workers have been reported by a dozen other companies.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Seattle/King County Health Department, Whatcom County Health Department, and the Port of Seattle, are investigating and working with American Dynasty to determine how this outbreak happened and how future outbreaks can be prevented.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

COVID-19 outbreaks and positive tests among workers have been reported by Blue Harvest Fisheries, Bristol Seafood, Bornstein Seafoods, High Liner Foods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Pacific Seafood, Peter Pan Seafoods, Thai Union and Trident Seafoods.

Exposure occurs through personal contact in cramped living quarters and close working conditions. Social distancing guideline are impractical in meat and seafood processing plants and vessels.

The novel coronavirus may be an inconvenience for some but other individuals have more severe symptoms that can lead to permanent mental and physical impairment, or death.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and county and port health officials are all investigating and working with these companies to determine future outbreaks can be prevented.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

Operational flights of Coast Guard aircraft continue as required, and crews and aircraft are ready to respond to any requests for assistance.

During the planning phase of every search and rescue or medical evacuation mission, Coast Guard District 17 follows protocols to determine potential survivor exposure to COVID-19. Air Station Kodiak maintains appropriate personal protective equipment for aircrews during missions and has decontamination procedures and equipment for the crews and aircraft upon their landing. This capability is deployable anywhere Coast Guard aircraft can land.

Kodiak Coast Guard personnel and their families remain focused on the health and well-being of the entire Kodiak community, especially during this pandemic crisis. Many Coast Guard family members are actively serving the local community as doctors, nurses, and other front line healthcare providers. Many Coast Guard dependents are serving as teachers and educators providing essential online education to the Kodiak community.

Active Duty members and their families are actively volunteering in the community by providing meals, delivering groceries, sewing cloth masks, and providing financial support to those in need.

Coast Guard senior leaders also are members of the Kodiak Emergency Services Committee and the Kodiak Economic Task Force, as well as serving as part of the Kodiak Incident Command System.

Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak remains ready to serve Alaskans and the United States, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

A Washington resident was assessed a $9,500 civil penalty for interfering with the safe operation of the Washington State Ferry (WSF) 144 car Olympic Class Tokitae as it prepared to dock at Clinton by shining a high-powered blue laser at the vessel on October 22, 2015.

Mark Raden of Freeland was aboard the WSF Kitsap transiting between Mukilteo and Clinton when he pointed the laser at the Tokitae, striking the vessel’s master and chief mate in the eyes and endangering the 106 passengers on board.

Raden, who has a history of lasering incidents, also pled guilty to reckless endangerment in Island County Superior Court for his conduct and was ordered to serve 15 days in jail, perform 240 hours of community service, and pay $3,740.89 in restitution to the master and chief mate. He will also serve 24 months of probation.

The Captain of the Port, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, issued a $100,000 civil penalty Tuesday to a Washington resident who intentionally struck the Washington State Ferry Tokiate with a high-powered blue laser October 22, 2015.

Coast Guard investigating officers determined that Mark Raden of Freeland, was aboard WSF Kitsap transiting between Mukilteo and Clinton when he pointed the laser at the pilot house of the Tokitae, resulting in injuries to the ferry master and chief mate.

Coast Guard officials are seeking civil penalties for violation of a safety and security zone as well as interference with the safe operation of the Tokitae while it transited between Mukilteo and Clinton. The final civil penalty amount will be determined by a Coast Guard Hearing Officer in Arlington, Va.

A lawyer representing the family of Lonnie Jordan, an El Faro crew member, has filed a $100 million lawsuit against TOTE Service Inc. and TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, as well as the El Faro captain. The ship sank off the Bahamas on October 1st, and search and rescue ended after eight days. On October 5th, the U.S. Coast Guard found a body of a crewmember in a survival suit.

The lawsuit was filed family by attorney Willie E. Gary. Gary has accused the company of negligence and putting profit ahead of the lives of its employees. “We hope to get to the bottom of this,” Gary said. “We are at war now.”

“Tote Services, negligently permitted the El Faro to sail out to sea despite being in an unseaworthy condition to handle the conditions of a violent storm,” the lawsuit states.
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A shift in the approach to safety management of enclosed spaces on board ships is needed. Fifteen years ago, while working as an independent surveyor, I was carrying out a condition survey on board a bulk carrier. The scope of the survey included testing the emergency generator, located in the steering flat and accessed by an inclined ladder.

Accompanied by the superintendent and the chief engineer, we had no sooner reached the bottom of the space when the chief engineer urgently ordered us all out. By the time we had exited the space, within seconds, we were all in a state of dizziness and confusion, compounded by our inability to comprehend what had just occurred. Further investigation revealed that Freon gas had leaked from refrigeration machinery located in the steering flat and being heavier than air, had migrated into the emergency generator space, displacing breathable air. It was a lucky escape. Victims of asphyxiation in enclosed spaces deficient in oxygen will normally receive no such warning that anything is wrong or have the ability to quickly escape.
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A power surge caused by a design flaw destroyed the power cables in the ferry’s circuit breaker control, causing the ship to lose power as it approached Bainbridge Island on July 29, 2014. According to Lynne Griffith, Assistant Secretary for the state Ferries Division.

The ferry MV TACOMA lost power as it headed towards Bainbridge Island with more than 400 passengers aboard. The crew dropped anchor, the first time in 30 years for a WA state ferry, so the ferry wouldn’t drift hit the island. The tugboat LINDSEY FOSS towed the TACOMA to Eagle Harbor.

WA State ferry officials estimate that the repairs on the TACOMA and sister ships will cost $1.8 million, and the TACOMA might not be back to work until Spring 2015.

On April 16, there were 476 people known to be on board SEWOL. According to reports, 339 of these people were high school students from Danwon High School in Ansan, which is not too far from Seoul, along with some of their teachers. The rest of the people were passengers on other business, and crew.

About 16 miles from shore off the southern tip of South Korea, shortly before 9:00 a.m. KST, in calm weather, SEWOL made a hard turn and began to list. Minutes later, a loud noise reverberated. Whilst most of the passengers obeyed the captain’s instructions to remain in their quarters, SEWOL listed ever farther to port, eventually to a degree which removed all hope of evacuating those passengers.

By the time the captain made the call to abandon ship, about an half-hour after that hard turn, the intercom system no longer functioned. Good Samaritans in the area and arriving rescue workers saved as many people as they could find, as the SEWOL beam listed perpendicular to the sea, trapping students and other passengers inside. SEWOL took over three hours to sink completely into seas where SAR divers report visibility to be mere inches in front of their faces.

An Alaska ferry worker was injured on the passenger loading ramp at Bellingham Cruise Terminal, in Fairhaven.

The ferry ramp operator, who was not identified, was lowering the passenger ramp into place on the stern of the ship when a cable snapped and the ramp collapsed. The worker fell about 20 feet, landing on the damaged ramp.

Workers called an ambulance and the injured ferry worker was taken to St. Joseph hospital. No update on her condition was available Friday evening.

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