Articles Posted in Maritime Safety

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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.

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USCG_C130_Hercules-300x200The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a fisherman who fell overboard in Ugashik Bay, 190 miles west of Kodiak, Alaska.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard 17th District Command Center received an urgent marine information broadcast on Thursday, July 19th at approximately 4:27p.m. from the F/V CAPE GREIG, that a crewmember had fallen overboard. An Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk aircrew was immediately dispatched to conduct a search in addition to a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules aircraft, which was diverted to the scene.

Nine good Samaritan vessels joined the search and covered over 13-square miles along the shoreline of Ugashik Bay as well as upriver, in an effort to locate the missing fisherman.

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Lava_Bomb_Hole-1024x794The U.S. Coast Guard and the Hawaii County Police Department continue to investigate an incident in which “lava bombs” showered down on a Kapoho Bay sightseeing vessel, injuring 23 tourists. Officials reported that the lava tour boat was cruising near the erupting Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island when lava bombs began crashing down on the vessel. It has been reported that about 50 lava bombs hit the boat and that one, about the size of a basketball, pierced the metal roof of the vessel, injuring 23 passengers.

Sector Honolulu watchstanders received the initial call from 911 at about 6 a.m. that three crewmembers, as well as three tourists, had been injured in an incident in Kapoho Bay aboard the lava sightseeing vessel Hot Shot. The sightseeing vessel returned to Hilo harbor where emergency medical personnel were waiting to receive the injured. Ten passengers were treated at the scene for cuts and burns, while 13 others were referred to Hilo Medical Center for treatment. Four were sent by ambulance, and one woman in her 20s has been listed in serious condition with burns and a fractured femur.

“Today’s unfortunate event is a good reminder about the risks involved with observing a natural wonder like this one and the reason officials are continuously monitoring the eruption to ensure the public is kept at safe distances on land, in the air and while at sea,” Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, said in a statement.

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Coast-Guard-MH-60-JayhawkThanks to the swift efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and good Samaritan F/V Pacific Pearl, three fishermen in Sitka Sound were rescued this week after their vessel began taking on water.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a distress call from the captain of the 33-foot F/V Leona at about 10:30pm. It was reported that the vessel was taking on water and bilge pumps were unable to keep up with the rate of flooding. Watchstanders urgently requested an Air Station Sitka Jayhawk MH-60 be dispatched to the scene.

An emergency dewatering pump was lowered onto the vessel, but the F/V Leona was taking on water too rapidly; the pump could not keep up. The three crewmembers were forced to abandon ship as the vessel began sinking into Sitka Sound. The good Samaritan F/V Pacific Pearl was able to take the three crewmembers aboard then transport them to Sitka.

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Rope_Tiedown-1024x683Commercial fishing vessels must comply with safety regulations established by federal and maritime law. When violations are found during a boarding inspection, a vessel may be issued a violation and possibly a fine. When violations are particularly dangerous to the crew or the environment, they fall into a different category known as “especially hazardous conditions”.  After finding several safety violations and environmental infringements, the U.S. Coast Guard terminated the voyage of the F/V Nushagak Spirit sighting “especially hazardous conditions”.

The vessel was located approximately three miles east of Umnak Island when the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, a 378-foot high endurance cutter based in Seattle, Washington, conducted the onboard inspection. They found one fishing violation, 14 safety violations, as well as the improper discharge of bilge water. The vessel master admitted to pumping bilge water over the side of the vessel, which is in direct violation of the Clean Water Act. The U.S. Coast Guard sent this vessel back to port. Federal law deemed this vessel “unseaworthy”.

“We perform at-sea safety inspections to ensure mariners are operating in compliance with commercial fishing vessel safety and environmental regulations,” said Capt. John Hollingsworth, 17th District incident management branch chief. “These regulations help ensure the safety of life at sea and protect our marine environment.”

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Coos-BayThe U.S. Coast Guard recently responded to a call from the 36-foot fishing vessel, Lacie Belle, that a crewmember was suffering from seizures. The call came in at 5:25 p.m. and by 5:54 p.m. an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Sector North Bend was on the scene, approximately 10 miles north of Cape Blanco.

The Coast Guard sent a rescue swimmer down to assess the crewmember and determined that the man needed immediate medical attention. A basket was sent down to the fishing vessel and the crewmember was hoisted to the waiting helicopter (watch the heroic video). The crewmember was successfully airlifted to medical personnel at the Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay, Oregon by 6:28 p.m.

Seizures can happen anytime or any place, but when they occur on a fishing vessel, it is even more important for crewmembers to know how to respond. While there are many types of seizures, most people are familiar with the generalized tonic-clonic seizure, also known as a grand mal seizure, in which a person, falls, shakes, jerks, and cries out. If this happens while at sea, a crewmember must take charge and do the following:

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Buoy-Life-Ring-Marine-Orange-Cruise-Tourism-651578
Everyone wants a culture of safety. Vessel owners want it, maritime workers want it, and their friends and families want it. But what is it and what steps must an organization or vessel owner take to establish it? It doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It must start at the top, and it must feature consistency, trust, and truth. It is about doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency established as the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping, safety culture is defined as follows:

“An organization with a ‘safety culture’ is one that gives appropriate priority to safety and realizes that safety has to be managed like all other areas of the business.”

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Ladder-1024x640There are times when a maritime worker must access high areas on a vessel or travel from one deck to another. In these instances, it makes sense that ladders and steps would be employed. If working at sea weren’t already hazardous enough, enter the dangers of ladders, steps, and gangways.

Ladders can be such a hazard, that the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a Ladder Safety App for workers, employers, and homeowners. The app contains information and tools to prevent extension and step ladder-related fall injuries and deaths. The app is free, and it has been downloaded over 120,000 times. According to the CDC, ladder and step accidents happen for many reasons, but the following are most common:

  • Incorrect extension ladder setup angle