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.

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

A good Samaritan rescued a man after his kayak overturned near Keene Island, approximately 14 nautical miles south of Petersburg, Alaska, Sunday.

A good Samaritan on a vessel located the kayaker in the water and recovered him. The good Samaritan then transferred the man to a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, who took the man to shore in Petersburg to awaiting EMS.

Coast Guard had received a report from Petersburg Police Department at 11:30 a.m. of the man in the water after his kayak overturned. They diverted a Coast Guard helicopter crew and a Ketchikan boat crew transiting back to Ketchikan after temporarily working out of Juneau.

“The assistance the good Samaritan gave aided to the timely recovery of the kayaker,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jared Buchmiller, Sector Juneau command duty officer. “The Alaskan maritime community is an asset to the Coast Guard and the public.”

by Tom Evans, Injury at Sea. Continue Reading

The Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing person near Whittier, Alaska, Saturday.

Still missing is Victor Moreno, who was last seen wearing a green jacket, green pants, and brown boots.
Cordova Police Department reported that Moreno was noticed missing from a recreational vessel at approximately 6 a.m. and it was presumed he fell overboard.

Safety at sea is critical. Lives can be lost or saved by suitable equipment and proper maintenance. Experts can determine when loss is by cause and can assist in getting compensation for the bereaved family to help them re-build their future.

The Coast Guard suspended the search at 8:30 p.m. Coast Guard boat and aircrews dedicated over 13 hours of search time and covered approximately 325 square nautical miles.

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

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

The Coast Guard announced today a formal marine casualty investigation has been convened into the marine casualty of the commercial fishing vessel Coastal Reign which capsized February 20, 2021 resulting in the loss of two lives.

The crew of the 38-foot fishing vessel, Coastal Reign, were attempting to cross the Tillamook Bay Bar inbound when the vessel capsized with four crewmembers on board.

Coast Guard authorized the investigation pursuant to the authority contained in Title 46, United States Code, Section 6301 and the regulations thereunder.

Upon completion of the investigation, the Coast Guard will issue a report of investigation with collected evidence, established facts and conclusions and recommendations regarding these marine casualties.

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

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