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 brie@npfvoa.org 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.

November 19, 2014

Vessel POLAR BEAR Grounded near Kodiak, AK - Intoxicated Captain Arrested

A 25-year-old crew member on the vessel POLAR BEAR called 911 to report that the highly intoxicated captain had run the landing craft aground on Gull Island, a half-mile or so away from the Kodiak, AK harbor. The Kodiak police reported receiving the 911 call on November 16, 2014 and arrived at the scene of the grounding with assistance from the Kodiak Harbor Master's Office. They found Edward Dyer, 50, aboard and highly intoxicated. Police escorted Dyer and Jeffrey Barrowcliff, the crewmember, back to land. Dyer was charged with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, and fourth-degree assault.

Peter Schwarz, the president of POLAR BEAR operator Alaska Marine Transport and Salvage, said Dyer is no long employed by his company. "I had a skipper here who lost control over himself," Schwarz said. "He looked always sober when I saw him, but he has this problem drinking." According to KTUU News, Schwarz said Dyer was drunk and belligerent, scaring Barrowcliff to the point that he locked himself inside a compartment, called police, and waited 30 minutes for the police to arrive.

There were no visible signs of damage to the landing craft and no leakage of fuel at the time of reporting.

November 13, 2014

Disabled Ferry TACOMA's Power Loss Caused by Power Surge from Ship Design Flaw

Why did the ferry TACOMA lose power during a routine run from Seattle to Bainbridge Island last summer?

"We have found the problem, and we have identified a fix for it," said Lynne Griffith, Assistant Secretary for the state Ferries Division.

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.

Mark Nitchman, staff chief engineer of the TACOMA, said it was the first time in the ferry's 17-year history that such a surge had been seen.

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 with the current and hit the island. The tugboat LINDSEY FOSS towed the TACOMA to Eagle Harbor.

"This was not caused by the way we operate the vessel, nor was it related to any of our maintenance practices," Griffin said.

A minor design modification will be needed on the TACOMA and its sister ships in the Jumbo Mark II Class to include additional redundancies, Griffith said, so the problem doesn't happen again. She also said that the technology to find this flaw didn't exist when the ferry was built in 1997.

The repair plan has been submitted to the Coast Guard, who must approve it before repairs can be made. 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.

November 12, 2014

Cargo Ship RAINBOW QUEST Clips Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

The tide was high on the East River as it flowed underneath New York City's Brooklyn Bridge the evening of November 7, 2014. At about 10:30 pm, the 590 foot cargo ship RAINBOW QUEST headed down the East River on its way towards open sea. As the ship passed under the Brooklyn Bridge, its tallest mast clipped the bottom of the famous bridge linking Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Ali Flockerzi said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had already scheduled a routine closure of the bridge late Friday and inspected the span when it was closed. She said there was no damage to the bridge. Can you imagine the nightmare if the RAINBOW QUEST had caused extensive damage to the bridge and/or the ship? Any boat must know its height requirements and high tide information for passing under bridges. Luckily no one was injured and no damage was done.

November 10, 2014

POST-TROPICAL NURI / BERING SEA STORM ONE OF STRONGEST CYCLONES ON RECORD

On Friday, November 7, 2014, the National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center recorded the central pressure of post-tropical Nuri at 924 mb over the Bering Sea. On November 9, however, Hurricane Central reported that the storm's lowest pressure was 929.8. For reference, Hurricane Andrew's pressure was 922, and Hurricane Sandy's was 940. Whether the pressure was 924 or 929, the post-tropical Nuri/Bering Sea storm is one of the largest Northern Pacific storms on record.

From north to south, the massive storm covered 2000 miles from 68 N latitude to 40 N latitude. Hurricane force winds with gusts of 96 mph and 30-50' waves were recorded. The Coast Guard in Kodiak reported that no damage or distress calls had been received as of 8 a.m. Saturday. That good news is probably because the storm was much publicized and because most of the storm hit open sea. Most fishing boats headed into Dutch Harbor and cargo ships gave the area a wide berth to avoid the storm. Small villages such as Adak and Attu on the southwestern end of the Aleutian chain are not strangers to strong storms and effectively battened down the hatches against the storm.

Did any "Deadliest Catch" boats brave the storm? We shall see.

November 6, 2014

COAST GUARD READYING FOR SEVERE WEATHER IN WESTERN ALASKA

The Coast Guard is preparing for an incoming severe weather system to hit the Bering Sea and Western Alaska on Friday, November 7, 2014. The storm, remnants of Super Typhoon Nuri merging with a cold polar front, could bring fierce winds between 50 and 80 mph and massive waves in excess of 40 feet.

The Coast Guard has already flown a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Kodiak to an operating location in Cold Bay. They also notified the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro, patrolling near Dutch Harbor, with a Dolphin helicopter crew to stand by to assist fishing vessels, crew, and citizens.

“Our highest priority is protecting the safety of life at sea,” said Capt. Joseph Deer, chief of incident management, 17th District. “We are encouraging all mariners to monitor National Weather Service reports and take appropriate safety precautions, such as pulling into a safe harbor or taking shelter in the lee of an island, in order to safeguard their crews.”

The Coast Guard recommends that concerned fishermen and citizens visit the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s website at www.arh.noaa.gov for more information about current weather conditions in the Bering Sea.

To learn more about being prepared during an emergency situation, visit the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s website at www.ak-prepared.com/outreach/Prepare.

November 4, 2014

SUPER TYPHOON NURI HEADED FOR BERING SEA

Super Typhoon Nuri's maximum winds reached 180 mph on November 2, 2014, as it roared over the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines and south of Japan. According to the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Nuri has tied with Super Typhoon Vongfong for the strongest tropical cyclone of 2014, and it's headed towards the Aleutians, the Bering Sea, and the far northern Pacific this weekend. Nuri's winds could back off to hurricane-wind status and the forecast could change between now and Friday, so check the weather for the latest on Super Typhoon Nuri. The crab and cod fishing seasons are currently underway in the Bering Sea.