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Forty-Six Crewmembers abandon the Commercial Fishing Vessel ALASKA JURIS as the Vessel begins to sink on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 in the Bering Sea

The ALASKA JURIS, a factory trawler owned and operated by the Fishing Company of Alaska, began to sink in the Bering Sea on Tuesday, forcing the crew of 46 to don survival suits and abandon ship.  The Coast Guard says the ship had a problem in the engine room that led to flooding.  As the ship flooded, it reportedly lost power and threw the propeller into reverse.  The incident occurred near Kiska Island, about 690 miles west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

The crew are reported to have been rescued by Good Samaritan vessels, the SPAR CANIS and the VIENNA EXPRESS, and transported to Adak Island.  By the time rescuers found the crew, it is reported that sailors had been unable to reach lifeboats and were bobbing in frigid waters.  The Coast Guard plans to conduct a flyover on July 28, 2016, to determine whether the vessel is still afloat and if any pollution spilled.

The Fishing Company of Alaska is the same company that owned and operated the ALASKA RANGER, another factory trawler that sank in the Bering Sea on March 23, 2008.  Five people died in that tragedy.  Reports have surfaced of other cases of injury and death aboard Fishing Company of Alaska vessels, including the ALASKA JURIS.  According to U.S News, in March 2012, a crewmember aboard the JURIS died after a cable snapped and struck him in the head, and days later another deckhand sustained a head injury when another cable snapped.  U.S. News also cites an instance of crewmembers being exposed to ammonia leaks in May of 2012.

The Fishing Company of Alaska has an unenviable safety record.  The firm of Anderson, Carey & Williams has prosecuted numerous claims against the Company over the past couple of decades.  In addition to representing crewmembers aboard the ALASKA RANGER who sustained physical and emotional injuries, the firm has represented a number of other crewmembers injured due to negligence and unseaworthiness of vessels owned and operated by the Fishing Company of Alaska.

We await the results of the initial investigation by the Coast Guard, but the likelihood of a vessel sinking in expectable, indeed benign sea conditions in the middle of summer without some fault in the condition or operation of the vessel seems remote.

Anderson Carey & Williams has represented seamen and their families for over thirty-five years throughout the United States. With offices in Seattle and Bellingham, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, the attorneys of Anderson Carey & Williams are collectively admitted to practice in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, California, Florida, Arizona, and Washington D.C.

Video Credit: Associated Press

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Fishing Vessel Towed Off Olympic Peninsula Rocks

The Coast Guard towed the 40-foot fishing vessel JAYDEN RAY and its crew to safety early this morning after she ran aground at LaPush, about 3 miles north of the mouth of the Quillayute River, on the Olympic Peninsula.

The Coast Guard received a mayday call from the four-member crew of the JAYDEN RAY at 2:20 a.m., after the vessel washed up on rocks and was unable to deploy its anchor.

A helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Quillayute River at LaPush were dispatched. The motor lifeboat crew was able to navigate through the rocks and throw over a towline at approximately 3:30 a.m., after receiving illumination from a spotlight aboard the helicopter.

The motor lifeboat crew took the fishing vessel and its crew members in tow and transferred them back to LaPush where a post search-and-rescue boarding was conducted. According to a Coast Guard spokesman, the cause of the grounding is under investigation.

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Nine Deaths in Chinese Shipwreck

Nine people have died and seven remain missing after a fishing boat sank off the coast of the northeastern Chinese seaport of Dalian, maritime authorities said.

The boat with 17 people on board sank in the wee hours of Wednesday amid strong waves during an attempt to hook the boat to a larger vessel, the authorities said.

The bodies of nine of the fishermen were recovered at around 3:30 p.m., while another seven people are still missing.

The only person rescued from the sinking boat is listed is good condition at a hospital in Liaoning province, where Dalian is located.

Authorities said a rescue operation involving a helicopter, seven maritime patrol vessels and 120 other boats was still ongoing.

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Tug Runs Aground in Alaska, Crew Rescued

Five crewmembers from the POLAR WIND were rescued after the tug and the barge it was towing went aground.

The Northland Services tug was 20 miles from Cold Bay when it became separated from the barge it was dragging behind it. The two vessels went adrift while the crew was trying to reconnect the towline. According to Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley, weather was a factor.

The Coast Guard received a distress call at around 9pm on Tuesday, and sent out two helicopters to respond to the situation. Mosley says that the rescue was made five hours later, and had to be completed in two rounds.

Having rescued the crew of the POLAR WIND, the Coast Guard and the Department of Environmental Conservation are now working to reduce the impact to Alaska’s coastline. The tug and barge were carrying more than 23,000 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of the grounding along with smaller amounts of lube oil and other petroleum-based products. The barge was also carrying 90 refrigerated containers, 30 of which were in use. The contents of these containers have not been disclosed, as the Coast Guard is still waiting on a cargo manifest.

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Deadly Collision off Washington Coast

Coast Guard rescue crews have called off the search for a commercial fisherman who went missing after the fishing vessel MAVERICK sank off the coast of LaPush Friday morning, September 28, according to a Coast Guard spokesman.

A Coast Guard helicopter based at Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles on Ediz Hook conducted the last search of the missing man on Saturday, said Petty Officer Nathan Bradshaw, Coast Guard spokesman in Seattle.

Based on the circumstances of the sinking and the amount of time the missing man has been in the water, Coast Guard officials are considering the man deceased, Bradshaw said.

The Coast Guard has not released his name.

The missing man was one of four crew members on the 40-foot commercial fishing vessel MAVERICK, which sank early Friday morning following a collision with the 90-foot F/V VIKING STORM roughly 30 miles off the coast of LaPush. The VIKING STORM is based out of British Columbia. The collision occurred outside of U.S. territorial waters.

The crew aboard the 90-foot VIKING STORM was able to rescue three of the four crewmen of the MAVERICK.

A Coast Guard motor lifeboat transferred the three survivors, described as in good condition Saturday, from a Coast Guard cutter on the scene of the collision to the Coast Guard slip at the Quileute Harbor Marina in LaPush, Bradshaw said.

The owner of the MAVERICK, Port Angeles resident Darby Dickerson, was one of the three crewman who survived the collision, said Gene Harrison, the assistant harbor master at the Quileute Harbor Marina, where the survivors were dropped off by the Coast Guard at about 4 p.m. Friday.

Harrison’s brother-in-law also fished on the MAVERICK and was also returned safely to LaPush, Harrison said.

Harrison also knows the missing man, but would not confirm any more details about him until the Coast Guard releases his name.

Harrison was not familiar with the crew of the 90-foot F/V VIKING STORM involved in the collision or the boat itself.

No one aboard the VIKING STORM was injured and the vessel suffered only minor scrapes and a dent to its bow.

The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation, while a release from the Transportation Safety Board notes a Canadian team will also try to determine what caused the collision.

Sources: Jeremy Schwartz, Peninsula Daily News &
The Canadian Press

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Oil Rig Workers Injured in Fire

The Coast Guard confirmed that a W&T Offshore gas platform located in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire Wednesday morning, forcing three workers to evacuate.

Two of the workers suffered minor injuries as they evacuated the platform, which is located in 120 feet of water about 29 miles south of Terrebonne Parrish, La.’s Dernieres Barrier Island Refuge, said Petty Officer Jonathan Lally.

W&T Offshore’s Janet Yang said the accident occurred on an oil-processing platform, not a drilling rig.

Ying said she did not believe an active well was located at the site.

Lally said the fire was reported at 10:20 a.m. Five contracted response vessels spraying water on the platform had it extinguished by 2 p.m.

Lally said W&T officials reported that an inspection cover on a heater-treater valve cover blew out, causing the fire.

It also resulted in a hydrocarbon spill that caused a sheen 600 yards long by a half-mile wide to form. Lally said the workers were able to shut in the platform before evacuating, preventing additional pollution from entering the water.’

The sheen was still present, but Lally said reports indicated it was dissipating.

Anderson Alexander Carey is a maritime law firm which represents injured seamen. Crewmembers aboard oil rigs may be seamen entitled to unique rights of recovery under the Jones Act and the General Maritime Law. Inquiries can be made, without obligation, by calling 1-800-BOATLAW(2628529)or going to our website: www.boatlaw.com, or emailing boatlaw@boatlaw.com.

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“Gladiator” Lost at Sea, Briefly

Actor Russell Crowe was kayaking with a friend and launched on Saturday afternoon from Cold Spring Harbor on the Long Island Sound, according to US Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki. As it got dark, the two got lost and eventually headed for shore, beaching their kayaks in Huntington Bay, nearly 10 miles east from where they had set out.

The US Coast Guard was patrolling the area, and heard Crowe call out to them from the shore around 10pm, Swieciki said. The Gladiator actor and his friend, who Swieciki didn’t recognise, paddled over to the boat. The Coast Guard officers pulled them up and, along with their kayaks, gave them a ride to Huntington Harbor.

“He just needed a little bit of help, he just got a little lost,” Swieciki said. “It wasn’t really a rescue, really, more of just giving someone a lift.”

Swieicki said no one was injured, and the two men were wearing life vests. He said the actor, who was grateful and friendly, seemed like he was a fairly experienced kayaker.
from Cold Spring Harbor on the Long Island Sound, according to US Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki. As it got dark, the two got lost and eventually headed for shore, beaching their kayaks in Huntington Bay, nearly 10 miles east from where they had set out.

The US Coast Guard was patrolling the area, and heard Crowe call out to them from the shore around 10pm, Swieciki said. The Gladiator actor and his friend, who Swieciki didn’t recognise, paddled over to the boat. The Coast Guard officers pulled them up and, along with their kayaks, gave them a ride to Huntington Harbor.

“He just needed a little bit of help, he just got a little lost,” Swieciki said. “It wasn’t really a rescue, really, more of just giving someone a lift.”

Swieicki said no one was injured, and the two men were wearing life vests. He said the actor, who was grateful and friendly, seemed like he was a fairly experienced kayaker.

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One Dead, One Missing in F/V ADVANTAGE Sinking

The skipper of a Kodiak-based fishing vessel ADVANTAGE died Friday after the boat sank, authorities said. One crew member was missing and two others were recovering from hypothermia.

Four helicopter searches failed to find the crewman missing from the 58-foot ADVANTAGE, Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis said. An airplane continued the search.

As first reported by KMXT-FM, a Coast Guard helicopter went looking for the vessel shortly after midnight Thursday when an emergency locator beacon signal was received.

Skipper Leif Bolan and two crewmembers were rescued from a life raft and taken to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center. Providence Health and Services Alaska spokeswoman Crystal Bailey confirmed that Bolan had died.

None of those rescued was wearing a survival suit, Francis said.

The Advantage went down about 15 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.

By the time the helicopter arrived on scene, the vessel had already sunk and only a debris field remained.

“It looks like it sank fairly quickly,” Francis said.

At the time, the National Weather Service was forecasting 8-foot seas in the area.

Francis said it is too early to know why the fishing boat sank.

Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

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Fishing Boat Sinks, Crewman Missing Near Kodiak

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Three crewmembers were rescued from a fishing boat Friday after it sank south of Kodiak Island but one crewman remained missing, the Coast Guard said.

As first reported by Kodiak Public Radio, KMXT-FM, the search for the missing crewman aboard the 58-foot vessel ADVANTAGE began shortly after midnight.

The Coast Guard was first alerted to a problem when the command center in Juneau received an emergency radio beacon indicating the location of the vessel 14 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.

After several attempts were made to contact the boat by radio, the Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and crew from Air Station Kodiak to go to where the emergency beacon indicated the distressed boat was located.

By the time the helicopter arrived on scene, the fishing vessel had already sunk and just a debris field remained where the Advantage went down.

“It looks like it sank fairly quickly,” said Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

At the time the boat sank, the National Weather Service was forecasting 8-foot seas in the area.

The three crewmembers were found in a life raft. None of them was wearing survival suits.

They were hoisted to safety at 1:55 a.m. and brought back to Kodiak where they were treated for hypothermia at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center, she said.

The helicopter with a fresh crew returned to the area of the sinking vessel to look for the missing crewman. The search continued all night.

By noon Friday, Francis said four searches of the area had been made but there was no sign of the missing crewman.

Francis said conditions were favorable for searching with 2-foot seas, good visibility and a water temperature of 52 degrees.

She said the search would continue for the foreseeable future.

The names of the crewmen have not been released.

Francis said it is too early to know why the fishing boat sank.

Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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Alaska Tour Boat Passengers Rescued

JUNEAU — The captain of a sightseeing vessel that apparently struck a rock at Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve had been trying to get the vessel nearer shore to see brown bears, an official with the boat’s owner said Monday.

John Dunlap, a vice president with Allen Marine Tours, said the captain, after trying to maneuver closer to shore so passengers could see the one or more bears that had been spotted, at some point realized he was in shallower water and started to back up. But Dunlap said it was along a different track than the boat came in on, and the BARANOF WIND apparently hit a rock.

The Coast Guard said 72 passengers were rescued in Sunday’s incident. They were removed as a precaution as the BARANOF WIND took on some water. Dunlap said the stability of the vessel was not considered to be in jeopardy but given that some water was coming in, the primary concern was making sure everyone was safe.

A cruise ship in the area, Holland America’s VOLENDAM, used tenders to help remove most of the passengers; two, including one passenger who had been injured, were taken aboard a National Park Service vessel. Officials said the crew remained on board.

Coast Guard spokesman David Mosley said any injuries that were reported were minor. The capacity of the BARANOF WIND is about 150 people, Dunlap said.

Dunlap said the mishap occurred during the first half of what’s typically an eight-hour cruise, billed in a promotional flier as an opportunity to see “magnificent tidewater glaciers, ancient snow-capped mountains,” and a range of wildlife, including whales and coastal bears.

Albert Faria, the park’s chief ranger, called the incident “unique,” saying the BARANOF WINDand other vessels routinely pass through the area without problems. Dunlap said the accident occurred north of Russell Island in Tarr Inlet. Faria said this was the first incident of its kind that he’s aware of there.

The vessel was being brought to Sitka, where Allen Marine Tours has a shipyard. The company plans its own investigation.

Anderson Carey Alexander is a maritime law firm with attorneys licensed to practice in courts of Washington, Oregon and Alaska. We represent clients injured in every seagoing circumstance, whether they be commercial fishermen, tugboaters, merchant mariners, oil rig workers, or passengers on cruise ships and tour boats. We can be reached by phone, toll free, at 1-800-BOATLAW or online at www.boatlaw.com. Initial consultation is without charge or obligation.

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