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.

Articles Posted in Merchant Mariner

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

A Coast Guard helicopter medevaced a sick mariner from the bulk carrier Restinga, Wednesday, near Cold Bay. The Crewman was showing symptoms of likely suffering from a stroke.

The Jones Act has complex provisions to ensure that working conditions are safe, including helping rescue services transport sick or injured mariners. It pays to consult a qualified experienced attorney to discuss your rights and possible compensation in case of sickness or injury at sea, or dockside.

Coast Guard watchstanders received a 1pm call from the Alaska Maritime Agency in Dutch Harbor reporting the individual was suffering from a possible stroke while the vessel was 140 miles south of Dutch Harbor.

The aircrew safely transported the 42-year-old male to Dutch Harbor, where they conducted a wing-to-wing transfer with a LifeMed crew, who then transported him to Anchorage for further care.

“Two assets were used to complete the medevac due to the vessel’s distance offshore,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Lake, an operations specialist stationed at the command center in Juneau. “The MH-60 was the asset conducting the hoist while the C-130 was there as a communications platform. In the event something happened to the helicopter, they would be there to drop lifesaving rescue equipment. Having a secondary aircraft is a common procedure in the Coast Guard and reduces the risk during operations conducted so far offshore.”

Contact an experienced attorney to discuss any such injury or illness related to maritime situations. It pays to know your rights.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

A sightseeing plane, with five passengers from a Holland America Line cruise from Seattle, crashed Thursday in southeast Alaska, killing all six people on board.

This is considered a maritime/admiralty matter cover by the Jones Act. Maritime employees are covered by the Jones Act/General maritime law and also passengers, although not seaman, are entitled to some maritime protections.

Reportedly the plane’s emergency alert beacon was activated around 11:20 a.m. in the area of Misty Fjords National Monument, near Ketchikan. A helicopter reported seeing wreckage on a ridgeline in the search area, and Coast Guard crew members found the wreckage around 2:40 p.m.

The aircraft involved is a float plane owned by Southeast Aviation LLC, a company that provides flightseeing tours as well as air charter services to other Southeast Alaska communities, according to its website. Holland America Line says the five passengers on the flight were from the company’s cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam, which departed from Seattle on July 31 and stopped in Ketchikan on Thursday.

It takes experienced expert maritime attorneys to represent seamen and passengers who may be due compensation under the Jones act. The Jones Act is specific Maritime Law that is complex to interpret and apply, and applies to seaman and passengers in specific cases. It takes experts to fully investigate the circumstances of the maritime injury or death and experienced maritime attorneys to determine how much compensation may be due to the victims and their families in case of injury or loss of life.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

A Coast Guard helicopter medevaced a crewman from the fishing vessel Alaska Ocean Sunday approximately 30 miles northeast of Cold Bay, Alaska, with a crush injury to his arm.

News of the arm injury aboard the fishing vessel Alaska Ocean came in at at approximately 7 p.m. asking medical assistance for the 45-year-old crew member who suffered arm crush injury.

The Alaska Ocean was 60 miles from Cold Bay during the initial call for help. Watchstanders directed the launch of the Jayhawk aircrew from the Forward Operating Location Cold Bay.

The Jayhawk aircrew hoisted the man at approximately 10:30 p.m. and transferred him to the local Cold Bay medical clinic to wait for further transport to Anchorage.

Such injuries can mean that life as a fisherman is ended and the injured person may no longer be able to work aboard ship. Expenses for treating the injury may be only the beginning as retraining for another job on shore can be life changing and expensive. It is important to know your rights and get expert advice to avoid the potentially devastating consequences of an injury at sea.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

A Coast Guard aircrew medevaced a crewman Monday suffering a severe hand and leg injury aboard a commercial freighter 135 miles off the Washington coast.

Canadian dispatch in Victoria contacted US Coast Guard at 9:30 a.m., reporting a 39-year-old crewman had injured his hand and leg by falling. The vessel was 135 miles west of Cape Flattery en route to China.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. the injured crewman was hoisted and proceeded to Astoria, Oregon, where he was transferred to emergency medical services personnel at the airport just after 2 p.m.

Slip and fall incidents may often be caused by poor working conditions, inadequate protective gear, or the state of repair of important equipment on board, and resulting injuries can receive compensation payments.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard medevaced a crewmember from the 653-foot merchant vessel Morning Peace approximately 130 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Thursday. The 48 year old crewmwmber was reportedly experiencing symptoms of appendicitis.

The Jayhawk helicopter aircrew hoisted the man and transferred him to awaiting commercial medevac services in Dutch Harbor for further transport to Anchorage.

Initially 530 miles south of Unalaska Island, Morning Peace proceeded toward Dutch Harbor throughout the night to close the distance. The Jayhawk aircrew launched from Cordova at 8:30 p.m. and arrived in Dutch Harbor at 7:21 a.m. Thursday morning after refueling in Cold Bay.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

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

The Coast Guard medevaced a crewman Thursday from the 905ft Alskan Navigator approximately 170 miles southwest of Cold Bay.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Kodiak hoisted the sick crewman at about 8 a.m. and flew him to Cold Bay where he was placed in the care of an awaiting LifeMed aircraft crew.

Coast Guard received the request at about 1 p.m. Wednesday to hoist the 61-year-old man experiencing abdominal pain from the 905-foot, U.S.-flagged, motor vessel Alaskan Navigator that was en route from Valdez to China, and approximately 270 miles southwest of Unalaska.

The Coast Guard requested that the Alaskan Navigator change course in order to meet the Coast Guard helicopter for the hoist.

The aircrew launched from Kodiak Wednesday, landed in Cold Bay to refuel, and launched to conduct the medevac at first light Thursday.

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

Contact Information