Articles Posted in Vessel Groundings

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The 751-foot cargo vessel reportedly ran aground near Skamokawa, Washington at 7:49 p.m. on Friday evening. It then refloated, traveled a few miles upstream and grounded again while at anchor.

The Coast Guard conducted an overflight of the grounded motor vessel Friday night, and will arrange another as weather conditions permit.

As of 7:40 a.m. on Saturday, the vessel had refloated with the tide, leaving no indication of discharged pollution.

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In the early morning of February 16, the Alaska Coast Guard received a 406 Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert from the 81-foot Fish Tender SAVANNAH RAY. Coast Guard watchstanders made callouts asking if the vessel needed assistance and received a broken MAYDAY from the crew. The vessel had run aground in Chiniak Bay near Kodiak, Alaska, and the four fishermen on board had donned their survival suits and deployed the life raft. A Jayhawk Kodiak helicopter crew flew to the grounded tender, safely hoisted the four fishermen, and flew them to emergency medical services in Kodiak. The weather at the time of the rescue was reported as 51 mph winds with 11-foot seas.

“This rescue highlights how critical it is to have a registered 406 EPIRB onboard when operating a vessel of any size,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Sheean, watchstander, Sector Anchorage. “During an emergency, especially in the cold waters of Alaska, it’s important for responders to immediately know that an event has occurred and the location of your vessel.”

On July 26, 2013, SAVANNAH RAY grounded in Bainbridge Passage in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The tender floated off the rocks on the incoming tide.

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A man and woman ran aground in their 17-foot skiff near Kanga Bay, about 11 miles south of Sitka, Alaska, as they traveled on December 27. Both were thrown overboard, and the man injured his head and face, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert. The boat drifted away and stranded the couple. Kanga Bay is a remote area off of Baranof Island and is only accessible by boat or floatplane (or Coast Guard helicopter).

Around 10 pm, Sitka emergency operators received a 911 call about the couple. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka and a Sitka Fire Department boat responded to the scene. The two people were hoisted from shore into the helicopter and flown to Sitka for medical treatment.

The Coast Guard will conduct an interview with the couple to determine why the skiff ran aground.

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At 2:16 am on Friday, December 5, 2014, crew from the F/V TITAN called The Coast Guard Sector Columbia River to report they had grounded off the A-jetty on the north side of the Columbia River near Ilwaco, WA. The 78-foot vessel’s engine room was flooding and dewatering efforts had failed.

The Coast Guard responded by sending a 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) crew from Cape Disappointment and a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Astoria, Oregon. They transferred a dewatering pump to the TITAN crew, but the flooding could not be stopped. The five TITAN crew members then donned their survival suits, lowered the anchor to help secure the vessel, and stepped onto the MLB. No injuries were reported.

“The professionalism of the fishing vessel crew was a huge factor in this case,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Elizabeth Wakefield, operations specialist and Sector Columbia River search and rescue coordinator. “Their ability to stay calm and focused in a stressful situation enabled our personnel to rescue them safely.”

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A 25-year-old crew member on the vessel POLAR BEAR called 911 to report that the highly intoxicated captain had run the landing craft aground on Gull Island, a half-mile or so away from the Kodiak, AK harbor. The Kodiak police reported receiving the 911 call on November 16, 2014 and arrived at the scene of the grounding with assistance from the Kodiak Harbor Master’s Office. They found Edward Dyer, 50, aboard and highly intoxicated. Police escorted Dyer and Jeffrey Barrowcliff, the crewmember, back to land. Dyer was charged with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, and fourth-degree assault.

Peter Schwarz, the president of POLAR BEAR operator Alaska Marine Transport and Salvage, said Dyer is no long employed by his company. “I had a skipper here who lost control over himself,” Schwarz said. “He looked always sober when I saw him, but he has this problem drinking.” According to KTUU News, Schwarz said Dyer was drunk and belligerent, scaring Barrowcliff to the point that he locked himself inside a compartment, called police, and waited 30 minutes for the police to arrive.

There were no visible signs of damage to the landing craft and no leakage of fuel at the time of reporting.

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On Saturday morning, November 1, 2014, Coast Guard Anchorage received a report that the 382-foot barge DBL106 had run aground approximately two miles from Kodiak, AK while being towed by the 124-foot M/V BISMARK SEA. The barge, owned by Kirby Offshore Marine, is loaded with a possible 2.2 million gallons of fuel products aboard.

The barge was successfully refloated, and no sign of pollution was reported at the time of the grounding. “The Coast Guard is deploying resources to the scene and has directed the vessel’s owners to anchor until a thorough damage assessment can be made,” said Capt. Paul Mehler, Sector Anchorage commander. “Our priority is to ensure the safety of the public and the environment.”

Once at anchor, the vessel will be boomed off to prevent any potential pollution from spreading.

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On the evening of October 9, 2014, the master of the 50-foot fishing vessel ARLINE called the Coast Guard to report that his boat had gone aground in the Swinomish Channel near Anacortes, WA. The Coast Guard Cutter ADELIE assisted and its crew boarded the ARLINE. Coast Guard crewmembers thought that the ARLINE master and crew had been drinking, so they administered breathalyzer tests. Results showed blood alcohol contents at .115; .008 is illegal. Local police took the master into custody.

The ARLINE was towed to the Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes. A light sheen was found after the vessel was moored, so a containment boom was installed and a Coast Guard incident management team from Seattle is working with contractors to contain the pollution and develop a salvage plan.
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A Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued a man and woman whose 12-foot skiff had run aground on a mud flat near Willapa Bay, Washington. The command center received a call for help late September 6th, after the vessel had become stuck. The two individuals made a second call for help after they left the boat and became stuck in the mud themselves.
The Jayhawk was able to hoist the pair out of the mud and fly them to Raymond, Washington, where medical crews were waiting to evaluate them.
Mark Dobney, a command duty officer at the Coast Guard Columbia River Sector says the incident shows the importance of having helicopters with hoist capabilities in the Pacific Northwest. Along with the highly trained helicopter crews, the ability to hoist the boaters out allowed them to be brought to safely quickly.

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June 12, PACIFIC QUEEN grounded while moored at Harris Harbor in Juneau. Her hull sustained some minor damage, but the main concern was for the approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel on board. A small sheen was noted, although the vessel was stabilized by the owner before it got worse. The Coast Guard is overseeing any pollution and safety issues concerned with this grounding.

PACIFIC QUEEN is a 71-foot wooden hulled fishing vessel based in Wrangell, Alaska. She was built in 1938.

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Late Saturday afternoon, the crew of F/V NAT contacted the Coast Guard in North Bend, Oregon, with news that they were about to run aground on the south jetty of Yaquina Bay as they headed back to port after setting crab pots.

The vessel did indeed ground there, and the NAT crew swam to shore where they were treated for potential hypothermia. According to reports, the captain required further medical care for broken ribs. It’s fortunate that all crew members survived with no worse injuries.

No pollution was been reported during the grounding or in subsequent salvage operations. Why NAT, a 37-foot wooden-hulled fishing vessel hailing from Long Beach, Washington, grounded is under investigation.