March 19, 2014

F/V ALASKA OCEAN Blast Claims Life of Experienced Fisherman

Fisherman Franz d’Alquen, 48, was killed in a blast on board on factory trawler ALASKA OCEAN on March 11 at around 9:20 p.m. According to the initial report, the blast resulted from a welding job setting off some acetylene gas that was leaking from a tank located inside an enclosed space, in this case a storage locker. The locker door was blown from its hinges, hitting Mr. d’Alquen.

Glacier Fish Company owns 376-foot ALASKA OCEAN of Seattle. This tragedy occurred about 165 miles out in the Bering Sea. Our condolences go out to all of Mr. d’Alquen’s family and many friends.

December 25, 2013

Petty Officer Travis Obendorf – Coast Guard Cutter WAESCHE – F/V ALASKA MIST

Back on Saturday, November 9, 166-foot F/V ALASKA MIST experienced mechanical problems and became adrift about thirty miles of Amak Island, Alaska. Amak Island is located in the Bering Sea, north of the midway part of the Aleutian Chain. At first, the ALASKA MIST 22-member crew used a sea drogue and got a tow line from their sister ship, F/V PAVLOV, to slow their drift. Tugboat RESOLVE PIONEER arrived to help, but then they experienced mechanical problems of their own and had to head to port for repairs. Eventually, ALASKA MIST drifted close enough to shore to secure anchor and await rescue in relative safety. Seas during this time period were five to ten feet with winds of 35mph.

All along, ALASKA MIST crewmembers had kept the Coast Guard apprised of their situation, so the Coast Guard was poised to jump in at this point. Coast Guard Cutter WAESCHE arrived on the scene that Monday, November 11, to begin transferring the non-essential members of the ALASKA MIST. By now, the seas were ten feet with winds of 40 to 46mph.

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November 18, 2013

Ballard Marine Construction Vessel Capsizes off Seattle – One Man Dies, Four Survive

On Friday, November 15, the weather was windy with high waves in Elliott Bay, Seattle. According to reports, a 30-foot dive survey vessel from Ballard Marine Construction, with five crewmembers on board, capsized in the waves, throwing all five into the frigid waters.

The Coast Guard received the call at 1:55 p.m. and answered with two boat crews. Seattle Fire and Seattle Police Departments also responded to the emergency.

One of the Ballard Marine crew was picked up from the water by the Seattle Police Department, and the Coast Guard rescued another three. But the fifth man was trapped in the cold water under the capsized boat, and wasn’t located for about an half-hour. Four of the rescued crew were taken for medical treatment for hypothermia, and are said to be in good condition. However, the man who had been trapped under the hull remained unresponsive in spite of CPR and care at Harborview Medical Center, and he died later that day.

The name of the man has not yet been released. We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of this man.

UPDATE

The man who did not survive is Anthony J. Collins, aged 40, of the Port Orchard area.

March 12, 2012

F/V LADY CECILIA Lost Off Washington Coast – Four Crewmen Missing

Early Saturday morning an EPIRB signal set off a search for the Warrenton-based fishing vessel LADY CECILIA and its four member crew. Coast Guard helicopters located a debris field, oil slick, and life raft just north of the Columbia River, 17 miles west of the Washington Coast. An extensive search failed to locate any of the vessel’s four crewmen, and they are presumed lost at sea. The lost crew was identified by the Coast Guard as David Nichols and Jason Bjaranson of Warrenton, Oregon; Luke Jensen of Ilwaco, Washington, and fisheries observer Chris Langel of Kaukauna, Wisconsin.

The LADY CECELIA is a 62-foot dragger owned by Dave Kent of Bay City, Oregon. Few details are known about the vessel at this time other than it was first registered in Oregon in 1991. Under Federal Regulations, vessels such as the Lady Cecelia are required to carry regularly serviced life rafts and survival suits, and crews are required to regularly be trained in safety procedures. Unfortunately, safety inspections of vessels such as the Lady Cecilia are not mandated by regulation.

Complicated Federal Maritime laws govern remedies available to families of crewmen lost in fishing accidents. Frequently, vessel owners utilize an archaic law called the Limitation of Liability Act to attempt to limit compensation available to the families of lost crew.


Alaska Crewman Lost Overboard From Glacier Spirit

A crewman was washed overboard and presumed drowned from the 42-foot GLACIER SPIRIT on Friday. The accident happened near Sand Point, Alaska. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were reported to be 25 mph winds with 12-foot seas. The Coast Guard unsuccessfully searched a forty square mile area for the missing crewman. Details of the accident were not available; however, this accident again reinforces the need for all deckhands to wear work vests and train regularly in man overboard procedures.

January 14, 2011

Alaska Diver Dies In Sea Cucumber Fishing Accident

A diver who was a crewman on the 68-foot sea cucumber boat ISLAND DANCER has died in an accident in Alaska’s Chester Bay near Metlakatla. Crew from the vessel reported that the diver surfaced from a dive, removed his mask and immediately sank beneath the water. The crew of the vessel pulled the man up utilizing his air hose and attempted CPR; however those efforts failed to revive the accident victim. The accident is under investigation by the United States Coast Guard and Metlakatla police.