Articles Posted in Maritime Death

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120px-Piper_Super_Cub_1_1998-07-07-1024x654Coast Guard personnel have located the wreckage of a missing PA-18 Super Cub float plane that was reported overdue.

Two men departed at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 10th for what was to be a 20-minute flight over Katlian Bay and Olga Strait. When they did not return, a search was launched by the Coast Guard. An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was deployed as well as a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter. The Coast Guard located the wreckage shortly after 10:30 p.m. in the Katlian River near the bay.

It is with great sadness that we report neither of the two men survived. The pilot has been identified as 45-year-old Stonie Huffman of Sitka, Alaska. He had been the owner of Frontier Charters and Lodge for 15 years. The passenger was 66-year-old James Ronge of Turlock, California.

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The-Bering-SeaA 55-year-old fisherman has died after sustaining internal injuries aboard the F/V Ocean Hunter. The 95-foot trawler is owned by Tacoma based Alaska Weathervane Seafoods, LLC. The vessel had been fishing for cod in the Bering Sea at the time of the incident.

According to The Alaska State Troopers’ dispatch, two vessels were tied together in open sea to facilitate a fish transfer. Christopher O’Callaghan was working on the deck when a slack line went taut and struck him in the chest. The bruising and internal injuries from the line resulted in his death. The official report also notes that several crewmembers witnessed the tragic incident. His body was transported to the state medical examiner, and authorities are continuing to investigate.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. O’Callaghan’s family and friends and all who worked beside him. He will be honored at the Fisherman’s Memorial Ceremony on May 27, 2018.

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Alaska_RangerIt has been 10 years since the tragic 2008 sinking of the 190-foot fishing vessel Alaska Ranger, which claimed the lives of five of the 47 crewmen aboard. During a 3-year investigation, conflicting findings regarding the cause of the accident were reported. The U.S. Coast Guard originally believed the sinking was caused by an aging hull, while the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found the sinking was caused by the loss of a rudder, which would have left an opening where water could enter the vessel.

One of the surviving crewmembers, Rodney Lundy, the assistant engineer, has recently come forward with additional reasons for the sinking of the Alaska Ranger.

Rodney Lundy remembers preparing the vessel for departure, and having an argument with fishmaster Satoshi Konno, about netting that was stacked around two air vents in the engine room. Lundy wanted the area cleared so the vents could be sealed in the event of flooding. But Konno and other crewmembers refused to move or clear the area.

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The Mason County Coroner’s office have released the name of a scuba diver who died this past Saturday in Washington state’s Hood Canal.

Joshua Michael Parke of The Balles, Oregon, was on a training dive in the Sund Rock Conservation area near Hoodsport, Washington.

Officials say that Parke, age 36, went unconscious shortly after surfacing with his dive partner.

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A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Research Vessel has just located the wreck of the missing F/V DESTINATION that sank in the Bering Sea this past February. The vessel and its six crew members were tragically lost in the capsize.

On the cold morning of Saturday, February 11, 2017, crew aboard the F/V DESTINATION was traveling to the fishing grounds and was just off St. George Island in the Pribilofs of the Bering Sea. Events that followed before the vessel ultimately sank are being investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The crew did not have time to send a May Day—only an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon signal was set off by F/V DESTINATION crew. This allowed immediate responders to reach the destination, but only buoys, a life ring and other debris were found at the site.

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Northern Idaho authorities have confirmed that the bodies of the 3 persons missing following the Saturday night boat collision have been recovered.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement late Wednesday that a dive team pulled the bodies from Lake Coeur d’Alene shortly after the crash.

Officials identified the dead as 34-year-old Justin M. Luhr of Medical Lake, Spokane County, 21-year-old Justin T. Honken of Post Falls, Idaho, and 21-year-old Caitlin A. Breeze of Spokane.

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A father and son, identified as 75-year-old Larry Roger McWilliams and 48-year-old Gary Roger McWilliams, died Monday, May 30th, after their fishing boat overturned in Glacier Bay National Park. The cause of the vessel capsize remains a mystery, as the weather was clear and calm at the time of the incident.

Four addition passengers aboard the privately-owned, 21-foot aluminum vessel made it to safety. Tom VandenBerg, who was aboard the vessel at the time of capsize, reported that a fellow passenger swam to a nearby island and flagged down a passing boat. He credited this effort as the sole reason that the four survived.

The fishing boat overturned about 10 miles from park headquarters, and officials swiftly dispatched large and small search vessels to the site after receiving word of the incident. Two passengers were found by charter boat operator, Jim Kerns, while others remained in the water. The crew of a tour vessel, the Wilderness Discoverer, pulled the father and son from the water to perform CPR, but were unable to revive the two.

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On Friday, June 24th, the group of friends were slowly cruising in their pontoon boat along the Rock River in Oregon. Statements from Phil Lukes, a passenger on the pontoon boat, and Al Overton, owner of River Road Marina, revealed that a fishing vessel appeared out of nowhere, and loudly commanded the attention of everyone near the river.

 The vessel struck the pontoon boat, tragically killing 31-year-old Megan Wells, who leaves behind 3 children. Nicholas Lamb, a 29-year-old passenger also aboard the boat, was transported to Rockford Memorial Hospital to be treated for his injuries.

 Both Overton and Lukes insisted that this heartbreaking incident be a message for all boaters to act with increased caution, and a call to improve safety measures.

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Spencer Vaughn Brewer, 20, was crushed between two barges and killed in the mouth of the Naknek River, AK, on June 29, 2016. Brewer, of Seattle, WA, worked as a deckhand for Naknek Barge Lines, a subcontractor of Alaska Marine Lines. The mouth of the Naknek River merges with Bristol Bay in the desolate, turbulent seas outside of Naknek and South Naknek in Southwest Alaska.

According to investigations by the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department (BBBPD), on 6/29 Brewer rode on the tug CROSS POINT from Egegik to the mouth of the Naknek River where three barges were moored. One barge’s mooring line had fouled underneath a buoy, so Brewer, wearing a PFD, transferred to a smaller vessel and then climbed onto the buoy to fix the problem. The fierce outgoing tide pushed the barge into the buoy and knocked Brewer off balance. He fell into the water and the tide sucked him underneath the barge.

Brewer resurfaced between two of the barges as they were being pushed together. Witnesses said they told him to get underwater to get out of the way. He tried, but the PFD prevented him and he was crushed.

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Two fishermen are missing and one is confirmed dead in an Oregon crab boat accident. An EPIRB signal was received late Tuesday night alerting the Coast Guard that the EAGLE III was in trouble.   The forty foot vessel had collided with the north jetty at Coos Bay and broken apart.   At the time of the incident, winds were 30 mph and seas were estimated at 8-10 feet.   The EAGLE III is home ported in Port Orford, California.  The Captain of the EAGLE III is reported to have survived the incident. The search has been suspended for the two missing crew.  The cause of the incident is under investigation.  The Coast Guard will likely investigate whether the EAGLE III was seaworthy, the crew properly trained, and whether or not navigational error may have contributed to the crewmen deaths.  The Oregon and Washington Crab fishery has again proven itself to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.  Small vessels such as the EAGLE III often face weather conditions that place them in peril.