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exitoTwo of five crewmembers are still missing after the 117’ F/V EXITO sank 14 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor, Alaska on Tuesday evening, December 6.

The owner of the EXITO called the Anchorage Coast Guard around 9:40 pm to report that the ship was taking on water and the crew was preparing to abandon ship. A Kodiak Jayhawk helicopter aircrew and four Good Samaritan ships in the area responded, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Meredith Manning.

“One of the Good Samaritan vessels, the AFOGNAK STRAIT, located three EXITO crew members and took them aboard their vessel,” Manning said. “The three had abandoned ship together, and the other two were preparing to abandon ship.” The AFOGNAK STRAIT crew rushed the three to Dutch Harbor. The rescued crewmembers reported that one of the missing EXITO crew had put on an immersion suit and was last seen preparing to abandon ship.

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The U.S. Coast Guard began a two-week public Formal Marine Investigation today to determine the cause of the sinking of the 220-foot fishing vessel, ALASKA JURIS. The vessel sank off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands on July 26th.

Efforts were made to locate the sunken vessel by the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and The Fishing Company of Alaska, but the vessel was never found. The ALASKA JURIS sank in approximately 5,400 feet of water, and its last known location was about 41 miles northeast of Segula Island.

The Seventeenth Coast Guard District commander will be holding the two weeks of hearings at the Henry Jackson Federal Building in Seattle. Testimony will be streamed live and can be seen at Livestream.

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Stacey-and-Jacobsen-CroppedIf you are a maritime worker or commercial fisherman, you already know that work at sea is dangerous. Jones Act or maritime law is in place to give rights to workers as well as an extra layer of protection. Know your rights, and if an accident does occur, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:

1. Report the Accident – It is imperative that you let your supervisor or captain know that you have been injured immediately. Jones Act or Maritime Law requires the injured party to report any work-related injury within seven (7) days, but don’t wait that long. The insurance company may assume that if you didn’t report the accident right away, it wasn’t very serious, so don’t wait. If you get hurt while working and you believe that your injuries need medical attention or have even the slightest chance of causing you to miss work, report it right away.

2. Seek Medical Attention – The law requires your employer to see that you receive medical treatment for your injuries. If you are at sea and your injuries are serious, the ship should have the Coast Guard medevac you to a hospital. If you are far out at sea or in international waters, a Coast Guard helicopter may be able to pick you up as soon as you are within range of the United States. The ship has the ability to consult with a physician by phone or radio if your condition is serious. And, if you are in a foreign country, your employer must get you proper medical treatment and get you back home at their expense. Your employer must pay for all medical attention that you need if you are injured or become ill while in the service of the vessel.

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ASTORIA, Ore. - A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, search for a man overboard dummy during a training exercise with the Columbia River Bar Pilots west of the Columbia River entrance, Nov. 8, 2010. The Coast Guard and Columbia River Bar Pilots began conducting the semi-annual joint drill in 2009 and continue to practice man overboard retrieval techniques to ensure that procedures for locating a person in the water will run smoothly as the two forces work together.U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn
On November 26th, 2016  the Coast Guard rescued an injured crew member more than 170 miles offshore from the Columbia River. The 23-year-old man was aboard the 617-foot Global Saikai, which had left Longview, WA for Kashima, Japan carrying a load of timber.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received the call after the crew member fell from a ladder and broke his arm. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was launched from Warrenton, OR to transfer the man to emergency medical personnel, who in turn took him to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, OR.

Weather at the scene was reported as raining with light wind, 13 foot seas and 9 mile visibility.

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Hank William Hoskins Sr. of Whatcom County died on October 26, 2016, after a scuba diving accident at Gooseberry Point near Sucia Island.

According to Bellingham Fire Department Assistant Chief Bill Hewett, the diver’s oxygen supply was cut off due to an apparent equipment malfunction at approximately 4 p.m.

It was reported by the boat crew that Mr. Hoskins, who was diving for sea urchins, had been underwater for about 5 minutes before being pulled aboard. He was rushed by boat about 10 miles east of Sucia Island to Gooseberry Point, where aid crews helped bring him ashore. Mr. Hoskins could not be revived. He was 40 years old.

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The Pacific Rim, a 60-foot commercial fishing vessel homeported in Westport, Wash., lies partially submerged near the Westport Marina in Grays Harbor, Oct. 23, 2016. The Coast Guard rescued the only person aboard and transferred him to emergency medical services. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Beresh.
On October 23, 2016, at 3:51 AM, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a mayday call. It was Michael Carroll, 70-year-old captain of the 60-foot fishing vessel Pacific Rim, which had begun to sink under him outside the Westport Marina.

If this vessel name sounds familiar, it’s because back in 2012 it ran aground near Coos Bay, OR in the midst of a thick fog. This time, it hit a submerged object and began sinking.

Upon receiving the call that “the vessel was taking on water”, an MLB crew was promptly launched and reached Carroll at 4:15 AM, rescuing him onto a 47-foot Motor Life Boat. Next he was transferred to Westport Marina’s emergency medical services, then relocated to Grays Harbor Community Hospital with symptoms of hypothermia.

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LakeCrescentCoastGuardStudents and chaperones from Stevens Middle School in Port Angeles, Washington were rescued from Camp David Jr. on Crescent Lake by the U.S. Coast Guard on Friday, October 14th.  According to the Coast Guard, Sector Puget Sound received a call at approximately 3:45 p.m. reporting that 40 kids and 6 adults were stranded without power in a cabin at the popular Clallam County Camp. Due to high winds and fallen trees, David Junior Road was impassable by vehicle, blocking all access to U.S. Highway 101.

The Coast Guard responded quickly, assisted by deputies from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

“With that amount of kids there, and the fact that emergency services could only get to them by boat, the decision was made to go out there and boat them over before the major storm hit on Saturday,” said Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King.

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TaplowFive fishermen were rescued by the US Coast Guard on Friday, October 7th, 2016 when a 56-foot commercial fishing vessel began taking on water. The Taplow was about 19 miles southwest of Grays Harbor, Washington when the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received the distress call that the vessel was taking on water. The captain reported that the engine room was half flooded, and pumps had stopped working.

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was issued and the Motor Lifeboat Invincible was dispatched, as well as a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and crew. The crew was directed to activate their Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon and put on immersion suits.

The Grays Harbor helicopter crew was first to arrive on the scene, delivering a pump and standing by until a second helicopter crew arrived. A rescue swimmer was deployed to assist with dewatering until the Motor Lifeboat Invincible and crew arrived. With the fishing vessel listing sideways, the MLB crew advised the fishermen aboard the Taplow to abandon ship.

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2 Sailor Cold BayTwo sailors arrived in Kodiak on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 seeking medical treatment due to the sinking of the sailboat Rafiki.

The men were sailing 230 miles south of Cold Bay, in 7 mph winds and 6-foot seas, when the engine compartment began to fill with water. They contacted Coast Guard 14th District in Honolulu, who transferred the call to Coast Guard 17th District in Juneau.  The Rising Sun, a nearby vessel, was diverted toward the Rafiki as backup.  The sailors were instructed to activate and remain with their EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), and with the vessel, until evacuation was absolutely necessary.

A HC-130 Hercules long-range aircraft arrived promptly at the scene and dropped survival suits to the sailors, who were then rescued by a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter for transport to Sand Point. There, the Hercules picked them up for transport to the hospital.

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Earnest Tug Boat
The Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality and the US Coast Guard responded to an 82-foot sunken tug at 8:49pm on the evening of Sunday, September 25th. The Earnest, a wooden-hulled vessel, sank on the Columbia River in Goble, OR. The incident was reported via the National Response Center.

Divers from Ballard Diving were contracted by the Incident Management Division in Portland to assess and address any fuel or other sources of pollution which may have been present after the sinking.

Clay Jonak, the owner of the Earnest, reported the vessel was carrying approximately 100 gallons of residual diesel fuel when it sank in Columbia County. Several other older tugs and barges are owned by Jonak, which he is attempting to salvage and scrap.