Articles Posted in Vessel Collisions

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Colorado-River-NeedlesA Labor Day weekend river cruise turned deadly after two boats collided on Saturday evening. Authorities are still investigating the cause of Saturday’s head-on collision that sunk both vessels and left all 16 passengers in the water. It was reported that two boats were involved, one carrying 10 people and the other carrying 6 passengers. The incident happened just north of Lake Havasu, on a stretch of the Colorado River located between Needles, California and Topock, Arizona.

Good Samaritans arrived at the scene before emergency officials and pulled many of the victims from the water; but in the current, several passengers were swept downriver. According to Mohave County Sheriff Doug Shuster, none of the passengers were wearing life jackets. While life jackets are not required by law, they are strongly recommended by authorities.

According to Eric Sherwin, a spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Fire Department, emergency rescue personnel arrived approximately 45 minutes after the initial call for assistance. Nine people were transported by ambulance to area hospitals while two critically injured victims were airlifted by helicopter to a Las Vegas hospital.

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Duwamish-SpillThe US Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology responded to a fuel spill in Seattle on the West Waterway of the Duwamish River after a tug and barge collided. The incident occurred at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, Ecology and the National Response Center were notified of the spill by the operator of Island Tug and Barge at 9:12 a.m. The hull of the tug was breached in the collision, and damage was sustained to one of the diesel fuel tanks.

While the tank’s capacity is 9,000 gallons, the tug was reportedly carrying only 1,200 gallons of fuel at the time of the incident. Larry Altose of the Ecology Department said, “We’ll treat response as if all spilled, until we learn differently.”

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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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On January 20, 55-foot F/V ECLIPSE collided with the Yaquina Bay south jetty. Three crewmen were aboard the vessel at the time of the accident. One crewman was lifted from the vessel by a Coast Guard helicopter and another crewman reached shore by climbing onto the jetty and then making his way to shore. The captain of the vessel stayed aboard and was able to dewater with the assistance of the Coast Guard. The cause of the accident is unknown at this time. Initial reports did not identify any injuries to the crew of the ECLIPSE.

Just a day later, January 21, 62-foot F/V JOE MARIE ran aground on the Chetco Jetty near Brookings, Oregon. Four crewmen were aboard the vessel at the time of the accident and all are reported safe after being rescued from the vessel by a Coast Guard Motor life boat.
The Coast Guard has both incidents under investigation and reminds all mariners that a marine band radio is an important tool to utilize in the event of emergency situation. A mayday message issued through VHF-FM Channel 16 can be heard by other mariners in the area who may be able to provide valuable assistance.

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A 620-foot cargo ship has collided with a 51-foot aluminum hulled fishing vessel off the coast of Massachusetts. The three crewmen on gillnet boat MICHAEL BRANDON were rescued by the Coast Guard and the vessel towed back to Scituate. The fishing vessel suffered extensive damage and later sank at the pier. The MICHAEL BRANDON was reportedly fishing near the shipping lanes when the collision occurred. The cargo ship involved in the collision, West Bay, was sailing for New Orleans with a load of salt. It has been ordered to return to Boston for purposes of a Coast Guard casualty investigation into the cause of the sinking.

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The tow boat BEAR CAT has been involved in a collision with a small pleasure craft on the Tennessee River. Only one of three persons aboard the small craft survived the accident. Early reports about the June 19, 2010 accident indicate that neither the tow boat nor the small boat was aware of the impending collision. The cause of the accident and why lookouts aboard the tug failed to sound a warning is under investigation by the Coast Guard. The BEAR CAT is owned by Serodino Inc. of Chattanooga.

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Two Seiners involved in the derby style Sitka Sac Roe Herring Fishery collided. Alaska State Troopers report that the F/V CONFIDENCE and F/V SHADY LADY collided on March 24, 2010. Substantial damage was reportedly suffered by the SHADY LADY. No serious injuries were reported in the collision and the cause of the accident is under investigation by the Coast Guard.

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The 70-foot tugboat, Gentry B, has collided with a bridge on the Ohio River. The cause of why the tugboat, which was pushing three loaded grain barges, collided with the bridge is under investigation by the Coast Guard. One crewman was reported injured in the accident. The Day Park Bridge was briefly shut down as a result of the accident. Inspectors and accident investigators form the Coast Guard and Kentucy Department of Transportation have since reopened the bridge to automobile traffic.

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A 33-foot-long Coast Guard vessel crashed into a 24-foot recreational vessel killing an 8-year-old child and seriously injuring five others. The accident happened in San Diego Bay during the annual Parade of Lights. Weather conditions were fair and clear, and the cause of the accident is under investigation. The Coast Guard vessel was reportedly responding to a grounded vessel.

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The Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Port Arthur, TX has reported a collision between two towing vessels on August 11, 2009. Both towing vessels, the CAROLINE and the MISS STACIE were pushing barges at mile marker 312 on the Intracoastal Waterway when the collision occurred.

According to the Coast Guard, after the collision, the CAROLINE began taking on water. A good Samaritan towing vessel, the REDEEMER was nearby when the collision happened and rescued the five crewmembers on board the CAROLINE. Once the crewmembers were rescued, the REDEEMER assisted with the CAROLINE’S five barges.

The Intracoastal Waterway was closed as a result of the collision between mile marker 310 to 315 and protective booming was placed around the CAROLINE which was partially submerged. Initial reports indicated a small oil sheen. A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, Canal Barge Company, and Texas General Land Office is developing and evaluating salvage plans for the CAROLINE.