Articles Posted in Vessel Sinkings

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Cape_Cod-300x157It is with great sadness that we report that the U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for three missing fishermen near Massachusetts.

An Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert from F/V LEONARDO was received by the U.S. Coast Guard District One command center on Sunday at 3:18 P.M. Personnel from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to investigate.

The F/V LEONARDO was carrying four crew members when it capsized and sank approximately 24 nautical miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard. Coast Guard crewmembers were able to rescue one of the four fishermen, Ernesto Santos, from a lifeboat.

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Alaska-Iceberg1200x600-300x150Vessel stability refers to the ability of a vessel to return to its upright position after being heeled over by wind, waves, or other forces. If a vessel is not stable, it is susceptible to capsizing. Each vessel is unique and therefore needs its own stability report prepared by a qualified naval architect.

Vessel stability was in the news again after the National Transportation Safety Board released its findings regarding the sinking of F/V PACIFIC KNIGHT, the vessel that capsized in Bristol Bay on July 25th, 2018. There were several contributing factors, but they all led back to stability. An overloaded vessel and an inadequate assessment of the vessel’s stability was cited as the cause of this devastating accident that took the life of a 59-year-old fisherman.

Vessel stability is complex and must be calculated by a professional. It is recommended that new stability reports be completed every 10 years or after any and all changes to equipment or modifications are made to a vessel. Stability is not a constant condition; it undergoes continuous changes during each voyage and through the life of a vessel.

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Miss-Emma-300x200The U.S. Coast Guard rescued six fishermen and one NOAA fisheries observer on Tuesday, September 17th after the F/V MISS EMMA caught fire approximately 8 miles south of Ko’Olina, Hawaii.

A VHF mayday call was received at about 4:29 p.m. from the vessel crew, who were aggressively fighting the fire. Sector Honolulu sent out an alert to other vessels in the area and directed the launch of a response boat, the cutter JOSEPH GERCZAK, an HC-130 Hercules SAR airplane, and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The seven people aboard the F/V Miss Emma were forced to abandon ship via a liferaft. The U.S. Coast Guard was able to rescue everyone within half an hour of receiving the mayday call. The crewmembers and the NOAA fisheries observer were taken to Pier 38 in Honolulu where they were met by first responders, medical personnel, and officials from Customs and Border Protection. No injuries were reported.

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Diving-Accident-300x225At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Monday, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach watchstanders overheard a mayday call on channel 16 that a 75-foot commercial diving vessel carrying 39 people was engulfed in flames.

Watchstanders launched two Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews, a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Forward Operating Base Mugu Dolphin MH-65 helicopter crew, a Coast Guard Air Station San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, as well as the Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll reported that of the 39 people aboard the dive vessel CONCEPTION, twenty-five people are confirmed dead and nine are still missing. Victims have been found, but due to unsafe conditions under the boat, divers are currently unable to recover the bodies.

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Response-Boat-Medium-300x199Five crewmembers were rescued from their skiff after their 49-foot fishing vessel sank near Black Island, Alaska. Watchstanders at U. S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a call about the accident on Sunday, July 14th over VHF channel 16. The F/V DAFFNIE capsized and all five crewmembers boarded a skiff as the vessel was sinking. The position of the skiff was reported, and watchstanders received an additional warning signal from the EPIRB registered to the vessel. It was reported that the crewmembers had only one survival suit, a handheld radio, and one life jacket between them. They were also holding onto the seine net.

An Alaska State wildlife trooper arrived on the scene and confirmed the location of the skiff. Good Samaritan F/V LOVIE JOANN and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from the U. S. Coast Guard Station Ketchikan arrived approximately 10 minutes later. Four of the crewmembers were transferred to the RB-M vessel and taken to Ketchikan. The F/V DAFFNIE master stayed with the skiff, and the crew aboard the F/V LOVIE JOANN assisted in the retrieval of the seine net.

The vessel sank in approximately 500 feet of water and can carry up to 400 gallons of diesel fuel. Responders reported a visible sheen on the water in the area of the sinking. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment personnel will investigate further regarding pollution and potential salvage of the sunken vessel.

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WhittierExp1-300x225Just after midnight on July 8th, the town of Whittier, Alaska was rocked when an explosion occurred on a fixed barge at the Delong Dock. Fire from the explosion spread to the pier as well as the docked 99-foot F/V ALAGANIK. Watchstanders were alerted to the explosion and blaze after they heard “Whittier fire, Whittier fire” on VHF Channel 16. They contacted Whittier dispatchers, who confirmed that the Delong Dock was indeed on fire.

A 100-yard safety zone was set up to keep vessels away from the fire, and the crew of the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter CHANDELEUR worked to maintain the safety zone as responders searched for a 49-year-old man from Cordova, Alaska who was reported as missing.

In addition to Coast Guard crews, response efforts included members of the Whittier Fire Department, Whittier Police Department, Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel Fire Department and Girdwood Fire Department. Whittier Fire Department chief Brian Hicks was reported to be the on-scene commander. Whittier Fire Department personnel reported the fire extinguished at about 2:50 a.m.

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Coast-Guard-Hoisting-300x200Three Tampa Bay fishermen are glad to be alive after the 32-foot F/V MISS SATURIA sank about 90 miles west of Naples, Florida. Watchstanders in St. Petersburg received mayday calls from an unknown source, then launched a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 helicopter crew and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to search for survivors.

The Norwegian Pearl and the Rotterdam cruise ships both reported that they heard the mayday calls near their locations. The Norwegian Pearl diverted course to assist in the search. About 40 minutes later, the Coast Guard reported that they had received an alert from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon registered to the MISS SATURIA. The vessel owner, James Glover, was contacted and reported that three fishermen were out on the vessel.

The U.S. Coast Guard sent an Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Miami to search for the men, then sent a helicopter to complete the rescue after the life raft strobe lights and red flares were spotted at about 4am. The Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the fishermen then transferred them to the air station where emergency medical personnel were waiting.

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Dutch-Harbor-e1550617197701-300x186Five crewmembers were rescued on Friday by the Good Samaritan vessel KONA KAI after the F/V PACIFIC 1 sunk in the Bering Sea. Just before the Seattle based cod fishing boat went down, it was reported to have been listing heavily.

The U.S. Coast Guard watchstanders received notification from the F/V KONA KAI that the 58-foot F/V PACIFIC 1, located about 40 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, had begun taking on water. The KONA KAI lost communication with the Pacific 1, but their last known location was transmitted to officials.

Two Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews were deployed from their forward-operating location in Cold Bay, Alaska. They arrived in time to assist the KONA KAI in locating the inflatable life raft that held all 5 people. While Coast Guard personnel were able to locate the raft, an inflight issue forced them to set a data marker buoy then return to Cold Bay.

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Yaquina-Bay-Lighthouse-300x175The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that it will formally investigate the sinking of the F/V MARY B II, which capsized near Newport, Oregon along the Yaquina Bay bar on January 8th. Three men died as the result of the sinking of the 42-foot vessel. It was reported that prior to the accident, the crew called for a Coast Guard escort due to heavy weather and 14 to 16 f00t waves. Tragically, before the escort reached the vessel, it capsized.

Rear Admiral David Throop has authorized the investigation. He is the Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District which is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Rear Admiral Throop is responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the Pacific Northwest including protection of life and property, enforcement of federal laws and treaties, preservation of living marine resources, and promotion of national security. The Thirteenth District is made up of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and includes over 4,400 miles of coastline.

Commander Karen Denny, who has over 18 years of experience investigating marine casualties with the Marine Safety Unit Portland, will lead the investigation. Commander Denny will then issue a report which will detail collected evidence, conclusions, and safety recommendations that could help prevent future accidents of this kind.

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Mary-B-IIIt is with great sadness that we report the death of three crew members from the MARY B II. The vessel was returning from crabbing late in the evening on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that the 42-foot vessel overturned as it crossed Yaquina Bay Bar in Newport, Oregon, a difficult crossing well known in the fishing industry.

A week-long winter storm had battered the bar with reported waves on Tuesday of 14 to 16 feet. Before it capsized, the MARY B II had requested a Coast Guard escort as it crossed the bar. The 52-foot Motor Life Boat Victory was in the area when two crew members of the MARY B II were washed overboard and the vessel subsequently capsized.

An additional Coast Guard vessel was called to the scene, as well as a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. James Lacey, 48, from New Jersey was extracted by helicopter and flown to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Joshua Porter, 50, of Toledo, Oregon, washed up on the beach and was treated by emergency medical services; he was taken to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital and pronounced dead.