December 16, 2014

Subcontractor Security Employee Drowns in Boating Accident at Kitsap Naval Base, Bangor, WA

William Smith, 50, of Bangor, WA, drowned in a boating accident at Kitsap Naval Base in Bangor, WA on December 11, 2014. Smith worked on base for the subcontractor Homeland Security Solutions (HSSI), a professional training, technology, and services company supporting security needs. Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause and circumstances of Smith's death. Mike McGuire, HSSI's program manager, could not provide details until investigations by his firm and the Navy are complete. The Kitsap County Coroner's Office confirmed that the cause of death was saltwater drowning.

December 12, 2014

Crew Member with Crushed Hand Medevaced from F/V TRAILBLAZER off Cold Bay, Alaska

Crew from the 120-foot fishing vessel TRAILBLAZER called the Alaska Coast Guard on Thursday, December 11, 2014 to report that a crew member's hand had been crushed in a crab pot launcher and needed immediate medical care. The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac, and a Kodiak Jayhawk helicopter crew flew to the vessel located approximately 75 miles north of Cold Bay. They safely hoisted the 23-year old man into the helicopter and flew to Anna Livingston Memorial Clinic in Cold Bay for further medical assistance.

“Having assets in forward operating locations like Cold Bay during the busy fishing seasons is beneficial to mariners in times of distress,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Francell Abbott, watchstander, Coast Guard 17th District (Alaska).

Weather on scene was reported as 17-mph winds, 10 miles visibility and 37 degrees temperature.

December 5, 2014

Five Crew Members Rescued from F/V TITAN After Grounding on Columbia River Jetty near Ilwaco, WA

At 2:16 am on Friday, December 5, 2014, crew from the F/V TITAN called The Coast Guard Sector Columbia River to report they had grounded off the A-jetty on the north side of the Columbia River near Ilwaco, WA. The 78-foot vessel's engine room was flooding and dewatering efforts had failed.

The Coast Guard responded by sending a 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) crew from Cape Disappointment and a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Astoria, Oregon. They transferred a dewatering pump to the TITAN crew, but the flooding could not be stopped. The five TITAN crew members then donned their survival suits, lowered the anchor to help secure the vessel, and stepped onto the MLB. No injuries were reported.

“The professionalism of the fishing vessel crew was a huge factor in this case,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Elizabeth Wakefield, operations specialist and Sector Columbia River search and rescue coordinator. “Their ability to stay calm and focused in a stressful situation enabled our personnel to rescue them safely.”

The TITAN, homeported in Warrenton, OR, was reported to be carrying 40,000 lbs. of Dungeness crab as well as 3500 gallons of diesel fuel on board. A sheen has been seen on the water; Global Diving and Salvage is contracted to clean up the fuel and conduct salvage operations.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding and will monitor the clean up. An overflight of the scene by a Coast Guard helicopter is planned.

This is the second Coast Guard rescue of Dungeness crab boat crews around Oregon in the last week - first the BLAZER, and now the TITAN. It will be interesting to read the Coast Guard investigation reports when they are published.

December 3, 2014

How to Help Yourself Survive in Cold Water: The 1 - 10 - 1 Principle

Sadly, stories are rolling in of boats foundering and sinking with crewmembers thrown into frigid winter waters. The Coast Guard and Good Samaritan vessels courageously assist as many survivors as possible, but the 1-10-1 Principle can help you survive until a boat or helicopter arrives. All of the following time averages are dependent upon the temperature of the water and condition of the victim.

1 - 10 - 1 represent crucial time periods after you hit the water.

1: During the first minute, Cold Shock will set in, including gasping and hyperventilation. You must get your breathing under control and gain an awareness of your situation. Panic will dramatically decrease your chance of survival.

10: You have 10 minutes to move to a secure position or find something that will keep you afloat as long as possible. Stay there and wait for rescue. Cold Incapacitation sets in after 5-15 minutes. Your limbs won't move anymore so you won't be able to swim, for example; you'll lose your strength and coordination and won't get them back.

1: Hypothermia will set in at 30 minutes to one hour. You then could lose consciousness. You could still survive if your airway has remained protected so you don't drown (for example, if your flotation device holds your head above water). Finally, your heart will stop.

I hope I never have to test my courage and skills with the 1 - 10 - 1 Principle, but I'm glad to know it.

For these and more tips to keep you safe on the water this winter, please visit the Coast Guard Compass blog at

December 2, 2014


The Coast Guard Alaska Sector and five Good Samaritan vessels are assisting the Russian Kamchatka Border Guard Directorate (KBGD) in finding 54 crew members missing from the capsized South Korean trawler 501 ORYONG. According to the KBGD, the crew was hauling in its catch of pollock when a wave hit and flooded the boat’s cargo holds. The 326-foot vessel sank off the coast of Chukotka, Russia on November 30, 2014.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings said that officials from the KBGD requested U.S. assistance with the search on December 1. They reported that a Good Samaritan vessel had rescued seven people in a life raft, one person was confirmed dead, and 54 were missing. A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak Hercules airplane crew and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter MUNRO along with a Dolphin helicopter were sent to the scene Monday morning.

Weather on scene was reported as half-mile visibility with a 250-foot ceiling, 22-foot waves and water temperature at 57 degrees.

The last time a fishing factory ship of this size sank in the Bering Sea was when the F/V ALASKA RANGER flooded and sank on Easter weekend of 2008. Of the 47 crew members on board, 42 were rescued. Beard Stacey and Jacobsen successfully represented many survivors in state and federal court to gain fair compensation. They also represented a a bereaved family of one of the drowned men. For more information, click on the above tab called Firm Web Site, and then on the right side of the page click on Commercial Fishing Accidents.

November 29, 2014

Fishing Vessel BLAZER Sinks off Siletz Bay, Oregon - Crew rescued by Coast Guard Helicopter and Motor Life Boat

The Coast Guard rescued five crew members from their life raft as the fishing vessel BLAZER sank eight miles west of Siletz Bay, Oregon the early morning of November 29, 2014. Coast Guard North Bend, Oregon received a MAYDAY call at 4:17 a.m. from the 75-foot fishing vessel BLAZER stating they were disabled, taking on water, and dumping crab pots. Ten minutes later crew called again to report they were donning survival suits and deploying the life raft.

Three of the survivors were rescued from the life raft by the Newport Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter crew and treated for minor injuries. The other two survivors were transferred from the life raft to a Coast Guard Depoe Bay 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB).

The BLAZER sank in 420 feet of water with reportedly 2,000 gallons of diesel aboard. There have been no reports of pollution at this time. North Bend pollution responders are monitoring the situation and will respond if needed.

The BLAZER is owned by DDR Fisheries out of Bothell, WA, but is homeported in Newport. Coast Guard officials will work with the owner to establish a salvage plan for the vessel, if possible. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Weather on scene was reportedly winds at 30 to 35 mph with seas of 15 feet and rain.

November 26, 2014

Maine Fishing Vessel TWO MEGS Saved from Sinking by Coast Guard and Good Samaritan

At 5:00 am on November 23, 2014, crew on the fishing vessel TWO MEGS called the New England Coast Guard in distress: the engine room was flooding.

The boat was located 40 miles east of Isles of Shoals off the coast of Maine. By 6:40 am, a Coast Guard helicopter hovered over the boat and dropped down auxiliary pumps to dewater the engine room. A fisherman aboard RACHEL T acted as a Good Samaritan and assisted.

The Coast Guard cutter GRAND ISLE arrived and towed TWO MEGS to Boston.

November 24, 2014

NPFVOA Vessel Safety Program offering Seminar on Update on Ebola and the Maritime Industry, December 12, 2014

The North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners' Association (NPFVOA) Vessel Safety Program is offering a seminar called Update on Ebola and the Maritime Industry on Friday, December 12, 9:00 am - 11:30 am. The seminar will benefit small boat owners responsible for crewing vessels and managing medical situations, purser/medics, safety professionals, operations personnel, human resource personnel, and risk managers.

Dr. Raymond Jarris, the presenter, is President and Chief Medical Officer for MD Solutions International. He is an experienced physician with over 30 years experience in emergency, occupational and family medicine settings. Dr. Jarris is currently Medical Director of the Swedish Medical Center/Ballard Emergency Department and BLS Medical Director for AMR Ambulance in King County.

Dr. Raymond Jarris and other speakers will present on the following topics:

• Medical updates on Ebola
• Maritime Industry Perspective
• Public Health Perspectives
• Updates from insurance
• Donning and Doffing Demonstration
• Speakers from Trident and American Seafoods

The seminar will be held at the Swedish Medical Center in Ballard, 5300 Tallman Ave NW, Seattle, WA, in Conference Rooms A + B, near the cafeteria and main entrance on Tallman Ave NW. Please email Brieanna Vennard at if you'd like to register.

November 23, 2014

Fishing Vessel ROYAL FORTUNE and Crew Towed to Safety off of Southwest Harbor, Maine

Crew from the fishing vessel ROYAL FORTUNE called the Northern New England Coast Guard on Saturday afternoon, November 22, 2014, to report their boat was disabled and adrift in 12' to 15' seas off of Southwest Harbor, Maine. According to Operations Specialist First Class Chris Kiener, the Coast Guard decided to launch a 47-foot motor lifeboat to tow the ROYAL FORTUNE and three crewmembers to shore because of the wind and high seas.

November 20, 2014

Injured Crewman Medevaced from Cargo Ship MYKONOS SEAS off Alaska

A Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter medevaced an injured crewman from the bulk carrier MYKONOS SEAS located approximately 75 miles southeast of Cold Bay, AK on November 16, 2014. According to the 17th District Coast Guard Command Center, they received a call from the carrier’s crew requesting medical help for the injured crewmember. The duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac, and the helicopter crew flew out of Cold Bay for the rescue mission. They flew 75 miles to the ship, hoisted the crewmember aboard the helicopter while grappling with 11 mph winds and 3' seas, and flew back to Cold Bay where the crewman received medical care. He ultimately was flown to Anchorage for additional medical assistance.

75 miles southeast of the tip of Alaska is in the far reaches of the Bering Sea. We are fortunate that the Coast Guard is equipped with operating locations and equipment that can quickly respond to emergencies near and far. Beard Stacey & Jacobsen LLP is one of the most experienced law firms in the country in handling crew member injuries aboard American ships in the Bering Sea. For more information, view our firm website and find Maritime Injury Claims.