MARITIME CASUALTY - WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHY

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Articles Posted in Fishermen

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 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 rescued four crewmen Thursday from a fishing vessel that ran aground near Dutch Harbor.

Although no injuries were reported, incidents like this are often serious and need detailed investigation by seasoned experts to determine if there is case for the crew to claim damages.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Cutter Bertholf hoisted all four survivors from a rock near the grounded fishing vessel Endurance, approximately one mile west of Egg Island, near the entrance to Beaver Inlet, Unalaska. They were flown to Dutch Harbor and placed in the care of awaiting EMS with no injuries reported at the time of transfer.

The Endurance reported at 10:57 p.m. Wednesday that they had run aground, were severely listing, and taking on water. The helicopter crew arrived on scene just after midnight to find all four survivors huddled on a rock with the tide coming in. They had escaped the grounded vessel on a skiff. All four were wearing life jackets. Capt. Timothy Brown, Bertholf’s commanding officer. “Thankfully, these mariners were well-prepared for emergency, and took the proper actions in time to notify the Coast Guard and get off the vessel. We were very fortunate to be close by and able to arrive on scene quickly.” The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding, as well as monitoring the grounded vessel.

This crew was lucky to escape. If rescue had not been in time they could have been drowned by the rising tide, or suffered exposure overnight. Incidents need to be investigated for compliance with the laws of the sea and for mariners to be awarded compensation.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard began a search Thursday evening for a 75-year-old man on a 14-foot skiff reported missing near Port Angeles.

The man was reported missing by a fellow fisherman after losing sight of his fishing vessel and was overdue to return to shore.

The mariner was fishing near Freshwater Bay to Crescent Bay Buoy 2 and back to Freshwater Bay. The mariner’s friends last talked to him via cell phone at 3:26 p.m. and about 10 minutes later saw him approximately a half mile west of the Crescent Bay Buoy 2 traveling on his kicker motor westward. It was reported that the overdue mariner’s main engine was not working earlier in the day and he had been using his kicker to maneuver. The mariner also reportedly had a large amount of fishing gear and other general items on his vessel.

Watchstanders at the 13th Coast Guard District command center were notified at 6:40 p.m. An urgent marine information broadcast was issued as an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles, and a small boat crew from Station Port Angeles were directed to respond and on scene.

Multiple partner agencies and a rotation of Coast Guard crews participated in the coordinated search operations, including the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Vector and crew, as well as Naval Station Whidbey Island helicopter crews.

The overdue mariner had no reported medical problems and was reported to most likely have had food and water onboard as well as life jackets, but reportedly no VHF radios on board.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard suspended the search Friday for a 47-year-old Jason LaBrie of Oregon City, Oregon, a crewman who reportedly fell overboard while underway fishing for halibut 28 miles northwest of Grays Harbor.

Slip and fall incidents are common enough, but overboard incidents, usually avoidable, are often fatal.

Fishermen aboard the 26-foot vessel Defiance II activated an emergency position indicating radio beacon after realizing LaBrie was missing.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the 13th District command center received the alarm at 12:39 p.m.

At 12:50 p.m., the Coast Guard initiated an urgent marine information radio broadcast notifying all mariners in the area and a Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew responded, along with a Jayhawk helicopter crew diverted from other flight operations. At 1:10 p.m., Coast Guard search and rescue crews were on scene.

A Coast Guard Air Spartan airplane crew was airborne and en route, and the Coast Guard Cutter Elm and crew diverted from a living marine resources mission at approximately 3:30 p.m. to assist with the search.

The Coast Guard saturated an area of approximately 244 square miles, completing 18 searches over more than 22 hours.

Units involved in the search:
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders
Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk crews
Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor 47-foot MLB crews
Coast Guard Cutter Elm and crew
Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento HC-27 Spartan crew

“The decision to suspend a search is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make,” said Capt. Nathan Coulter, 13th Coast Guard District, chief of incident management. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Jason LaBrie at this difficult time.”

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard medevaced a crew-woman from the fishing vessel American Triumph 100 miles northwest of Cold Bay, Alaska, Sunday.

A helicopter crew hoisted the crew member at 10 p.m. and safely transported her to a LifeMed flight team in Cold Bay for further transport to Anchorage.

The medevac request was received from Health Force Partners on behalf of fishing vessel American Triumph at approximately 4 p.m. Saturday for a 31-year-old crew member apparently experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Health related incidents at sea can be caused by neglect of safety precautions, or other problems, and can lead to future ongoing health problems, or loss of income through inability to work at no fault of the injured crew member.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

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