Articles Posted in Maritime Safety

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Ocean-Pearl-300x173On Saturday, December 8th, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued four crewmembers who abandoned ship after a fire broke out aboard the 75-foot F/V OCEAN PEARL. The vessel was located approximately 16 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey at the time of the incident.

Crew members reported that an electrical fire broke out just after 10:30 EST. One of the crew members was able to activate the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) just before abandoning ship.

According to authorities, a call was made to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay’s command center using a handheld radio. The Cape May station dispatched two 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews as well as the 87-foot patrol boat CUTTER CROCODILE.

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Inlandboatmens-Union-e1543366046311The Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific turned 100 years old last week and members celebrated the centenarian organization at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The organization, founded on November 20, 1918 in San Francisco, California, has quite a different look today, but the underlying directives set forth then are still with us today; to give workers a strong voice in numbers which in turn creates better working conditions.

When a meeting between deckhands and local fireman was called by Clyde W. Deal (1888-1978), deck workers and engine room workers were brought together under the same union umbrella for the first time in U.S. maritime labor history. Founded in 1918 in San Francisco, they were known simply as the Ferryboatmen’s Union of California. At the time, ferries in San Francisco Bay were owned by thriving railroad companies. Among those who organized were deckhands, watchmen, bargemen, oilers, cooks, waitresses, and firemen.

Prior to 1930, it was not uncommon for deckhands to be forced to work 12 to 18 hours per day. This was not only inhumane but created a dangerous work environment for everyone. Early bargaining successes included an 8-hour work day and a guarantee of a “dismissal wage,” or severance package for ferry workers who were displaced after the building of the San Francisco Bridge.

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CoastGuardBrookingsA 64-year-old male was injured after sustaining a blunt force trauma to the face by a loose crane hook. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a call at about 9:55am on Monday, October 22nd from the 334-foot F/V ARCTIC STORM. The vessel was located approximately 25 miles west of Brookings, OR at the time of the incident.

The duty flight surgeon recommended an immediate medevac for the injured man, and an MLB crew aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Chetco River was dispatched. Upon their arrival, the injured crewmember was stabilized then transported ashore to emergency medical services. His condition is currently unknown.

Crane hook injuries can be devastating as crane hooks are generally constructed from wrought iron or steel to create a durable device that can bear massive amounts of weight. Commercial fishing boats use cranes, crane hooks, and winches to load and unload supplies, catches, and equipment. Crane hooks can fail, cause injuries and even death due to inadequate maintenance, miscommunication, and lack of signals between the crew. Improper use, inappropriate modifications, lack of training, inadequate inspection of the apparatus, and lifting loads that exceed safe ratings may also cause accidents.

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San-Diego-Coast-GuardGood Samaritans aboard the charter fishing vessel Time Machine and Coast Guard officials rescued 15 people on Saturday, October 20th after a fishing boat caught fire approximately 28 miles south of Point Loma.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Diego’s Joint Harbor Operations Center were contacted at about 9:35pm after Time Machine crewmembers saw a nearby fishing boat burning and several people in the water.

The Coast Guard Station San Diego launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Haddock to the scene. A Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was also dispatched and Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) deployed two defender class boats to assist.

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Fire-1024x766A 28-year-old crewmember was medevaced to Anchorage, Alaska after suffering burns while working on the EVER LIVING vessel incinerator on Saturday, September 22nd. Coast Guard 17th District Command Center watchstanders received an alert via email regarding the injuries. The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac based on the man’s symptoms.

The 1,099-foot bulk carrier EVER LIVING was about 621 miles from Dutch Harbor at the time of the alert. The shipmaster was directed by watchstanders to navigate toward the Dutch Harbor station to cut down on transit time. A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew was able to meet the carrier approximately 57 miles southeast of Dutch Harbor, then transport the injured worker to Anchorage for medical treatment.

“We had the Ever Living transit toward Dutch Harbor to get within range of the Dolphin helicopter crew and to lessen the flight time for the injured crew member,” said Chief Petty Officer Seth Caron, District 17 operational unit controller. “We hope he gets the necessary care needed and makes a full recovery.”

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Underwater-Wreckage-1024x732A diver was medevaced after an accident that occurred about nine miles northeast of False Pass, Alaska on Thursday, September 13th. The diver was working on a wreckage project, when a piece of underwater debris broke loose and pinned him to the ocean floor at a depth of approximately 65 feet. After several minutes, the diver was able to free himself and make his way to the surface; however, it was reported that he sustained injures to the left side of his body and was bleeding from his nose.

The dive master aboard the vessel MAKUSHIN BAY called watchstanders at the 17th District command center in Juneau at about 1:50pm to report the accident, and the Coast Guard duty flight surgeon recommended the medevac. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew out of Air Station Kodiak was in Cold Bay on another transport, and was able to safely deliver their patient then travel to the injured diver. He was hoisted aboard, then transported to medical care in Cold Bay.

“The diver’s ability to free himself, coupled with our aircrew’s proximity to the accident today provided a favorable outcome,” said Lt. Stephen Nolan, command duty officer for the case. “The aircrew just so happened to be in Cold Bay on a separate, unrelated mission. As vast a place as Alaska is, being able to get to someone who needs help in time is always one of the biggest challenges our crews face. We were grateful to be able to do that today.”

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MRI-850x700The 2018 fishing season has seen many head and brain injuries. Being injured while working at sea can be disastrous to one’s career, but head and brain injuries can also be debilitating. Jones Act Law protects seamen, fishermen, tugboat workers, and crewmembers who have been injured while working at sea. The maritime doctrine of “maintenance and cure” is a no-fault maritime benefit. It means that the employer must pay for all reasonable medical expenses associated with a head or brain injury, including the following:

• Hospitalization

• Emergency Transportation

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Medevac-Cordova-AK-e1533669424484-300x226A crewmember aboard the F/V DEVOTION sustained a head injury on Saturday, August 4th approximately 34 miles southwest of Cordova, Alaska.  It was reported that following the injury,  the 51-year-old fell and required immediate medical attention.

Watchstanders received a relay call from the charter vessel Dan Ryan requesting assistance in the form of a medevac. After a consultation with the Coast Guard duty flight surgeon, it was confirmed that the crewmember did indeed need immediate medical attention. A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew responded to the call and delivered the crewmember to awaiting medical personnel.

“When we arrived to the scene, the fishing vessel was tied up to an offshore supply vessel, which made for a unique hoist,” said Lt. Joe Chevalier, a Jayhawk pilot during the medevac. “Through the coordination of the duty flight surgeon, Sector Anchorage Watchstanders and the Devotion crew, we were able to get the man to higher level care quickly.”

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https://www.maritimeinjurylawyersblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/155/2018/07/U.S.-Coast-Guard-Nordic-Cross-300x200.jpgThe U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a call on July 25th that a 47-year-old crewmember working aboard the F/V NORDIC CROSS had sustained a severe leg injury and needed medical attention. Watchstanders requested that an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew be called to medevac the man from the vessel, which was located in Duck Bay, near Kodiak, Alaska.

The helicopter crew hoisted the injured fisherman aboard, then transported him to awaiting emergency medical personnel.

“The Nordic Cross crew did a great job of clearing their fishing gear from the deck so we could conduct a safe basket hoist,” said Lt. Joseph Chevalier, aircraft commander of the case. “With that and the adaptability and coordination of the rescue swimmer and health services technician in the Jayhawk’s cabin, we were able to get this man to emergency care quickly and efficiently.”

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Station-Valdez-Crew-e1532746970899-300x220The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an 18-year old crewmember on Thursday, July 26th after he suffered a severe hand injury aboard the F/V PACIFIC HARVESTER. The vessel was located in Prince William Sound, Alaska at the time of the incident.

The F/V PACIFIC HARVESTER master called watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center to request a medevac as the crewmember had suffered a hand injury and was showing signs of shock. After consulting with the duty flight surgeon, a medevac was recommended. A Valdez station boat crew was dispatched and directed to the fishing vessel.

An emergency trauma technician treated the injured 18-year-old while he was in transit, then delivered him to emergency medical personnel awaiting his arrival at the Valdez pier.