Boat on the sea
Published on:

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.

Published on:

Crabbing3How much does a commercial fisherman make? Thanks to popular shows like Alaska Fish Wars and Deadliest Catch, interest in the fishing industry is at an all-time high. But how much can a commercial fisher really expect to earn? This is the million-dollar question, and the short answer is, it depends. The long answer? It depends.

It depends on how long a worker is at sea. It depends on the location. It depends on the species being fished. It depends on how experienced the worker is, and it depends on the type of contract entered into. In addition, the fishing industry is dependent on many factors that are beyond the worker’s control.  The rewards can be tremendous. However, the hardships can be significant. Salaries vary widely between regions and are closely tied to seasonal conditions and experience. A good season can bring great rewards, while a poor season may have workers questioning their decision to work at sea. It is also one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

According to ZipRecruiter  (a job posting service and employment search engine), the average annual pay for a Commercial Fisherman in the United States is $53,097 per year. Annual salaries are reported as high as $82,000 and as low as $16,000, but most Commercial Fishing salaries are currently $36,500 (25th percentile) to $78,000 (75th percentile) per year across the United States.

Published on:

LacerationA 58-year-old fisherman working aboard the F/V LAKE BAY was medevaced on Monday after suffering a large laceration to his arm. Sector Juneau command center received a call from the vessel’s master that a crewmember had been injured and needed assistance.

Sector Juneau issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Station Ketchikan boat crew with local EMS aboard to respond. Ketchikan emergency medical services and the boat crew coordinated the transfer of the injured man to Station Ketchikan, then to Ketchikan Medical Center for treatment.

“Today there was a situation involving an injured fisherman in need of an escort to a higher level of care,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody Mitchell, a coxswain on the case. “With the cooperation of multiple responding agencies, our boat crew was able to successfully medevac the injured man south of Bold Island to Ketchikan, even with the restricted visibility.”

Published on:

AquacultureAn Everett man is dead and three others were injured after a 20-foot boat they were operating crashed into an unlit pen net in Port Angeles, Washington on the evening of July 30, 2019. Two adults and one 14-year-old boy from Snohomish County were also in the boat, but survived the dramatic crash. According to reports, the pen nets involved with the crash were owned by Cooke Aquaculture.

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 rescue helicopter crew was in the area performing a training exercise when they saw a person on the boat attempting CPR to an unresponsive passenger. The aircrew lowered a rescue swimmer who swam to the platform on the fishing pier to assist with CPR.

It was reported that a U.S. Coast Guard Station Port Angeles 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew embarked all four boaters and took them to emergency medical personnel who were waiting at the pier at Station Port Angeles. The Everett man, Robert R. Elliott, age 62, was declared dead at the scene.

Published on:

Biorka-Island-Coast-Guard-300x225Watchstanders at U. S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report on July 21st at approximately 10:20 a.m that the captain of the processing vessel NORTHWIND had sustained a serious hand injury, possibly severing several fingers. The vessel was located just northeast of Biorka Island at the time of the incident.

The crew aboard the charter fishing vessel NORTH RIVER heard the call for help over VHF channel 16 and noted that they were very close to the NORTHWIND position. The good Samaritan crew responded that they were on their way and would transport the injured captain to shore.

The U. S. Coast Guard was performing a training flight in the area and met the good Samaritan vessel at the shore. They collected the captain then transported him by MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to the Sitka Fire Department emergency medical team for further treatment.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

It is with great sadness that we report that the search for a missing fisherman near Nashagak Bay has been suspended.

On MDillingham_Alaska_aerial_viewonday, July 1st at about 3 a.m. watchstanders in the Sector Anchorage command center received a call via VHF-FM marine radio that a crewmember aboard the F/V PAIL RIDER had fallen overboard in Nashagak Bay.

The U.S. Coast guard dispatched a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak to search for the missing crew member. Flares were also fired by the F/V PAIL RIDER crew to alert other vessels in the area. Searchers were optimistic that because the fisherman was wearing bright orange pants and bib that he would be spotted by one of the approximately 10 good Samaritan vessels that were near the scene and searching. The missing crew member was not wearing a life jacket when he fell overboard. The F/V PAIL RIDER is home-ported in Dillingham, Alaska. Originally, the U.S. Coast Guard was optimistic that the man would be found.

Published on:

Bristol-Bay-Dockside-Exams-300x214Commercial fishing continues to be among the most hazardous jobs in the U.S. but there are many ways vessel owners and crew members can mitigate risk. In an effort to prepare for the 2019 Bristol Bay commercial salmon season, the U.S. Coast Guard is offering free dockside examinations for all commercial fishing vessels. Locations and dates are as follows:

King Salmon: June 6-21

Dillingham: June 10-20

Published on:

Tillamook-Bay-1024x676A 55-year-old captain was medevaced by the U.S. Coast Guard after he reportedly suffered a heart attack while working aboard the F/V EMERALD SEAS. The vessel was located approximately 20 miles west of Tillamook Bay, Oregon when the incident occurred.

Watchstanders at Sector Columbia River Command Center in Warrenton received the distress call from the vessel, then dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria. A 47-foot motor lifeboat was also dispatched from Station Tillamook Bay in Garibaldi.

The vessel captain reported that he had suffered a heart attack in the past, and was therefore aware of the symptoms, and was able to self-administer Nitrol in response. The captain was transferred to the motor lifeboat before being hoisted by the helicopter to make for a smoother transition. He was then flown to emergency responders at the Tillamook Airport.