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Boat on the sea
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Magnus-Martens-Leg-Injury-300x150The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an injured fisherman on December 30th from a vessel located approximately 80 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor. The F/V MAGNUS MARTENS was working in the Bering Sea when the accident occurred.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALEX HALEY, which was on patrol in the Bering Sea near Unimak Island, received notification about the severely injured man via VHF marine radio.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was deployed and hoisted the injured fisherman. He was then flown to awaiting Guardian Flight Alaska personnel in Cold Bay who then transported him to Anchorage for a higher level of care.

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Vaccine12x6-300x150The world watched today as the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Coventry, England. The recipient was Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother. With several vaccines becoming available in the weeks ahead, the next question is who will be included in the first phase of distribution?

Fishing and maritime industries have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. The rapid spread in processing facilities both on land and at sea has been devastating for workers and processors. Distribution and transportation disruption, border restrictions, and a change in the demand for fresh seafood due to restaurant closures and event cancellations are just a few of the many hardships the industry has faced.

Last week, the CDC advisory council recommended that those who work in the food and agriculture sectors be among the next wave of vaccinations. Priority for the first round of vaccinations will be given to health care and long-term care facility workers. This distribution is being called “Phase 1a”. It has been recommended that the next wave include first responders, educators, transportation workers, and food and agricultural workers (which includes fishermen and seafood processors). This group will be called “Phase 1b”.

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VigorousThe U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for the four fishermen who are missing after the F/V EMMY ROSE sank on Monday morning. The vessel was located approximately 20 miles off the coast of Provincetown, Massachusetts at the time of the incident.

Watchstanders at the First District Coast Guard Command Center in Boston received an alert from the vessel’s EPIRB after it made contact with the water. It was reported that no distress or mayday calls were made by the crew and that calls to cell phones and a satellite phone located aboard the vessel went unanswered.

The U.S. Coast Guard immediately launched a Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew as well as the Coast Guard Cutter VIGOROUS to search for the F/V EMMY ROSE. When responders arrived at the vessel’s last known position, they discovered debris as well as an empty, yet inflated and deployed life raft.

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Survival_Suit_Saves_Man-300x196On November 2, 2020, the U.S. Coast Guard 17th District command center received a “search and rescue satellite alert” from the F/V IRONY. A 70-year-old man had fallen into the rough waters of Union Bay, Alaska, just northwest of Meyers Chuck.

The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sitka launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ANACAPA and crew to carry out the search and rescue operation. The man was found clinging to a piece of debris, immediately hoisted, then taken to awaiting emergency medical personnel in Ketchikan, Alaska.

“What saved this man’s life was his essential survival equipment,” said Lt. Justin Neal, a helicopter pilot from Air Station Sitka. “He had an emergency position indicating radio beacon registered in his name that allowed us to find him quickly, and his survival suit kept him warm long enough for us to rescue him.”

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Atlantico1200x600U.S. Coast Guard watchstanders received a call on September 16th from the F/V ATLANTICO reporting that a 40-year-old crew member had suffered a back injury.

The Duty Flight Surgeon was consulted regarding the nature of the injury, and a medevac was recommended. The District 17 command center ordered the launch of an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and aircrew. The injured fisherman was hoisted, transferred to Cold Bay, then transported to Anchorage to awaiting medical personnel.

“Good coordination between the Atlantico crew, command center personnel, and the Jayhawk aircrew attributed to our ability to successfully perform this medevac and get the injured fisherman to proper medical care,” said Lt.j.g. Lindsay Wheeler, a District 17 command center watchstander.

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Coast-Guard-Rescue2-300x218The most dangerous job in the world requires proper safety gear, proficient training, quick action during mishaps, and experienced emergency responders at the ready when the need arises. These essentials came together on Tuesday, September 8th to save the life of a fisherman when his 44-foot commercial fishing vessel ran aground then began breaking apart in the 10-foot surf near South Beach State Park, Oregon.

Watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a mayday call that the lone fisherman, trapped on the south jetty in Newport, was being forced to abandon ship. The 52-foot Motor Lifeboat Victory, a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat, and a ground crew were dispatched from Station Yaquina Bay.

Crew members from Station Yaquina Bay instructed the fisherman to use flares to signal his location. The flares were visible to the Motor Lifeboat as well as an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter that had been deployed. The helicopter was unfortunately forced to turn back due to hazardous weather and poor visibility.

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Survival_suits_USCG1200x700-300x175On August 11th, multiple U.S. Coast Guard units received distress calls stating that the F/V ARCTIC FOX II, a 66-foot commercial fishing boat, had begun taking on water. The vessel was located about 85 miles off Cape Flattery, Washington at the time of trouble.

The three crewmembers aboard were getting ready to abandon ship and reported that they were all wearing survival suits. Once on the scene, the U.S. Coast Guard aircrew immediately spotted a lifeboat. One survivor was aboard and hoisted into the helicopter. Tragically, the other two crewmembers did not survive. While the fishermen were all wearing survival suits, it was later reported that the suits were old, in poor repair, and that the seams were cracked. The suits that were meant to save lives, were not watertight.

This tragic accident highlights the need for all vessel owners, masters, and captains to test the functionality of immersion suits stored on their vessels. Under federal law, it is the duty of the person in charge of the vessel to make sure all lifesaving gear is properly maintained and inspected before each voyage. Follow these best practices for proper inspection and care.

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Coast-Guard-MH-60-Jayhawk-300x169A 22-year-old crewmember was medevaced on August 8th after experiencing medical complications due to pregnancy. The crewmember was working aboard the F/V NORTHERN JAEGER, a 308-foot factory trawler owned by American Seafoods.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was dispatched after District 17 Command Center personnel in Alaska received the call for assistance on Saturday morning.

The F/V NORTHERN JAEGER was located about 200 miles northeast of St. Paul, Alaska at the time of the call. U.S. Coast Guard personnel arrived at the vessel at approximately 2:45 p.m., and the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted and transported the crewmember to Cold Bay, Alaska. She was then transferred to a higher level of medical care.

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Coast-Guard-Hoisting2-300x158Watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay received a distress call from the F/V PIKY on August 4th after a crewmember sustained a serious eye injury and vision loss. The fisherman was reportedly reeling in a tuna when a line slipped, causing a swivel tackle to strike Nathanial Miller, age 24, in the face.

The distress call was relayed to Coast Guard Sector North Bend, Oregon, where a flight surgeon believed it crucial to transport the injured worker to a higher level of medical care as soon as possible.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River as well as an HC-27J Spartan medium-range surveillance aircrew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento in McClellan, California, were deployed.

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Alaska1200x630-300x158North Pacific Seafoods workers have been awarded a $440,000 settlement after being held for quarantine without pay in a Los Angeles hotel. Stacey and Jacobsen, PLLC first reported the details of this case on July 7th.

Each of the 165 workers who were quarantined is most likely eligible to collect approximately $2,685. That amount will be paid after each worker signs a release to drop further legal action against North Pacific Seafoods. After the workers have been paid, the parties will seek a dismissal.

The workers, who primarily reside in Mexico and Southern California, were hired to work at the North Pacific Seafoods Red Salmon Cannery in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The lawsuit maintained that workers were forced to quarantine in Los Angeles after three members of the team tested positive for COVID-19. North Pacific Seafoods provided no compensation during the quarantine. The lawsuit alleged false imprisonment, nonpayment of wages, failure to pay minimum wages and overtime, negligence, and unlawful business practices.

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