Boat on the sea
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Julia_Breeze_Rescue12-300x141Four mariners were rescued from a raft on November 10, 2021, after they abandoned ship about 13 nautical miles west of Cape Ommaney, near the southern tip of Baranof Island, Alaska.

Watchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a distress call at about 10:40 via VHF radio channel 16. Crewmembers reported that the V/F JULIA BREEZE was taking on water and that they were abandoning ship.

An Air Station Sitka helicopter crew was launched at 10:45 and arrived on the scene at about 11:40. The aircrew located a debris trail from the 53-foot fishing vessel as well as the survival raft. All four of the V/F JULIA BREEZE crew members were able to don survival suits and made it into the survival raft.

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CO2-Poisoning-300x158Carbon Monoxide poisoning is often associated with automobiles and homes, but carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in any enclosed or partially enclosed space where fumes and gasses are allowed to accumulate, making fishing boats, tugboats, and other commercial vessels particularly vulnerable if not properly maintained.

Carbon monoxide (CO), is an odorless and colorless gas that can poison, cause long term health issues, and even kill a person who inhales too much of it. According to the CDC, approximately 430 people die from accidental CO poisoning in the U.S. each year, and 50,000 people require emergency medical attention due to accidental CO poisoning.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Foss-Tug-300x150The Seattle Foss shipyard located at 660 West Ewing Street in North Queen Anne, has permanently closed, and all operations have ceased. The 115 displaced shipyard employees will continue to receive salary and benefits and an average of overtime wages until the end of 2021, according to the company.

This arrangement is in line with the requirements of the federal WARN Act, which requires most companies with 100 or more employees, provide 60 days’ notice of a closure. An employer who violates WARN provisions is liable to each employee for an amount equal to back pay and benefits for the period of the violation, up to 60 days.

The shipyard was responsible for new ship construction in addition to vessel repair and maintenance. Lifts, cranes, and other equipment made the shipyard uniquely equipped to work on ships up to 2,000 tons. The Lake Washington Ship Canal location also included three dry docks.

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LAURA-300x150U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a distress call from the master of the F/V LAURA on Monday, November 1, 2021, after the vessel reportedly ran aground on the shore at Black Rock, on Kodiak Island. It was also reported that the crew was using life rafts to abandon ship.

An Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules aircrew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew were launched. Thanks to assistance from the good Samaritan F/V STILLWATER, the aircrews were able to quickly locate the fishermen. A Coast Guard helicopter crew deployed a rescue swimmer to hoist the crew-members from the sinking 90-foot F/V LAURA, and safely transported them to Air Station Kodiak.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that all crew members have proper safety equipment and training. For more information, read our post regarding the maintenance and testing of immersion suits.

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Patricia_Lee_FV-300x150An injured fisherman was medevaced from a fishing boat on 10/19/2021 after sustaining serious injuries to his pelvic region. It is reported that the crewmember became pinned by a crab pot while working on deck. The F/V PATRICIA LEE was located about 225 miles west of Dutch Harbor at the time of the accident.

The master of the 117-foot F/V PATRICIA LEE contacted Watchstanders in the 17th District command center in Juneau to request a medevac at about 4 p.m. The fishing vessel made its way toward Dutch Harbor as Command center personnel directed the launch of the Air Station Kodiak helicopter crew from Cold Bay. In an effort to provide backup, an additional MH-60 Jayhawk aircraft crew and a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft crew were launched from Air Station Kodiak.

The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak hoisted the injured fisherman at approximately 11:50 p.m., then he was flown to Dutch Harbor and placed in the care of awaiting LifeMed personnel.

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NIOSH_PFD-300x150Between 2000 and 2014, overboard falls were the second leading cause of death among commercial fishermen in the United States. Of the 210 who died from falling overboard, not one of the victims was wearing a PFD (Personal Flotation Device). What was the leading cause of death among commercial fishermen? Vessel disasters.

According to the CDC, there are no laws that require commercial fishermen wear PFDs. However, USCG regulations [46 CFR 28.110] require that all commercial fishing vessels carry at least one USCG approved PFD or immersion suit of proper size and in good working order for each person on board the vessel. (See our post  Overdue F/V Stormie B Crewmember Rescued  —  September 7, 2021)

Research has shown that the likelihood of surviving an overboard fall is five times greater if a lifejacket or PFD is worn. In a recent survey regarding PFD usage, 16% of respondents said they never wear a PFD while working on deck. Most respondents acknowledged that this safety device is effective at preventing overboard fatalities, yet they were still reluctant about donning this crucial piece of protective gear. Just a few of the reasons offered by crew members:

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ROYAL-300x150The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a woman, two men, and their dog after the F/V ROYAL sank on Sunday, September 12, 2021, approximately forty-five miles off the coast of Lincoln City, Oregon.

Sector North Bend watchstanders received a distress signal via the vessel’s Electronic Position Indicting Radio Beacon (EPIRB) at 2 p.m. An urgent marine information broadcast was issued, and an Air Facility Newport rescue crew and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was dispatched.

A debris field was located about six miles from the last EPIRB transmission location at 4 p.m. Thankfully, registration on the device was up to date on the 44-foot gray and blue commercial F/V ROYAL, and the crew was found adrift in a life raft.

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https://www.maritimeinjurylawyersblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/155/2021/09/U.S.-Coast-Guard-Bertholf-300x150.jpgOn a recent patrol of the Bering Sea and Arctic regions, the U.S. Coast Guard reportedly established contact with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Among the patrol vessels were the BERTHOLF and the KIMBALL, both 418-foot legend-class security cutters. In addition to these vessels, the HEALY, a 420-foot medium icebreaker was on the scene.

It is reported that all exchanges between the U.S. Coast Guard and PLAN were in accordance with international standards established by the Western Pacific Naval Symposium’s Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea and Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

The PLAN task force was reported to include a guided missile destroyer, an auxiliary vessel, and a general intelligence vessel. The Chinese vessels were reportedly conducting “military and surveillance operations” while deployed in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean. They were sighted as close as 46 miles off the coast of Aleutian Island, but at no time did the PLAN task force enter U.S. territorial waters. Territorial waters are defined as 12 nautical miles from the baseline of a coastal state. Within this zone, the coastal state exercises full sovereignty over the air space above the sea and over the seabed and subsoil.

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AMH-Jayhawk-1024x512n overdue crewmember was rescued on Friday, September 3rd, near Lazy Bay on Kodiak Island after failing to return to the F/V STORMIE B.

The master of the F/V STORMIE B called watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center to report that a crewmember, who had set out in an inflatable boat powered only by oars, was overdue. The master also reported that that they had searched the area for two hours without results.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was deployed from Air Station Kodiak as well as the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter NAUSHON, and the missing mariner was located. A rescue swimmer hoisted and safely transported the seafarer to a nearby cannery.

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Dutch_Harbor_Rescue-300x225Four people were rescued on August 25th after their fishing vessel ran aground near Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

The F/V ENDURANCE crew made an emergency satellite phone call to watchstanders at approximately 10:57pm, reporting that the vessel had run aground, was listing severely, and taking on water. The call was received by U.S. Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau, Alaska and help was dispatched.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter BERTHOLF was located approximately 30 miles northeast of the F/V ENDURANCE at the time of the call. The BERTHOLF crew launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a small boat to rescue the stranded seafarers.

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