Articles Posted in Vessel Groundings

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Westerly-300x167On Thursday March 28th, 2024, a fisherman lost his life in a fishing boat accident off Point Reyes, California. The incident was reported at approximately 4:30 p.m. prompting a response from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Unit, known as Henry-1. The vessel involved was identified as the F/V WESTERLY, a Dungeness crab fishing boat that crashed onto the rocks near Chimney Rock. Reports indicated that the boat was lodged on the rocks, battered by waves that forced it onto its side. The damaged vessel began sinking.

A rescue swimmer from the U.S. Coast Guard was dispatched and found an individual aboard the vessel. According to the sheriff’s office, the swimmer was unable to access the cabin without breaching equipment. The Henry-1 team executed a rescue operation, bringing in breaching equipment and a paramedic from the Marin County Fire Department. The tactical flight officer and paramedic gained entry to the cabin and found a deceased individual later identified as Matthew Paul, a 49-year-old commercial fisherman from Half Moon Bay. Mr. Paul’s remains were transported by air to the Marin County Coroner’s Office, where an inquiry into the cause of death is expected.

The first person to notice the vessel near the Marine Protected Area of Point Reyes was a ranger at the Point Reyes National Seashore. Upon discovering the vessel, the ranger quickly notified the relevant authorities, prompting a collaborative effort among several agencies.

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LAURA-300x150U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a distress call from the master of the F/V LAURA on Monday, November 1, 2021, after the vessel reportedly ran aground on the shore at Black Rock, on Kodiak Island. It was also reported that the crew was using life rafts to abandon ship.

An Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules aircrew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew were launched. Thanks to assistance from the good Samaritan F/V STILLWATER, the aircrews were able to quickly locate the fishermen. A Coast Guard helicopter crew deployed a rescue swimmer to hoist the crew-members from the sinking 90-foot F/V LAURA, and safely transported them to Air Station Kodiak.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that all crew members have proper safety equipment and training. For more information, read our post regarding the maintenance and testing of immersion suits.

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Ann-Kathleen-300x164Crew members were forced to abandon ship when the F/V ANN KATHLEEN caught fire on Thursday, May 2nd just off the coast of Bandon, Oregon. Good Samaritan F/V LYNOMA rescued the fishermen from their life raft, then transferred them to a U.S. Coast Guard vessel after it arrived on the scene. No one was reported to have suffered injuries in the accident.

On Thursday afternoon at low tide, the 64-foot wood and fiberglass fishing vessel washed ashore just north of Floras Lake. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department reported that the vessel was still burning when it ran aground. Bandon Fire Chief Lanny Boston said the vessel was carrying approximately 2,000 gallons of diesel, which fueled the fire. By Friday, the fire had been successfully extinguished. Officials are investigating the cause of the fire.

Members of the local fire department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality all evaluated the site for toxic materials. They are creating a response plan to safeguard the beach and a nearby shorebird nesting area. The area in which the vessel burned is a designated recovery area for the threatened western snowy plover. Officials have contacted the vessel’s owner and insurance company.

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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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