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September 2009 Archives

CASUALTY REPORT TO BE RELEASED ON CAUSE OF ALASKA RANGER SINKING

The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) released a summary today of their report into the cause of the sinking of the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger. The Alaska Ranger, a 180-foot factory trawler, sank on March 23, 2008 in the Bering Sea. Five of the 47 crewmen aboard the vessel died in the accident. Many of the surviving crewmen spent 4-6 hours fighting for their lives in leaky survival suits in freezing cold waters and high seas before being rescued by the United States Coast Guard.

COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO BURNING FISHING VESSEL

The Coast Guard reported that it has responded to a fishing vessel fire in Corpus Christi Bay. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter was in the air when it spotted smoke coming from a fishing vessel. The rescue helicopter diverted and responded and found two crewmembers in a life raft next to the burning fishing vessel. A rescue swimmer found that one of the crewmembers had suffered burns to 20% of his body and was showing signs of shock. The crewmember was immediately hoisted and transported to the hospital. The other crewmember and rescue swimmer were left with a Good Samaritan vessel and a second rescue helicopter was sent to recover them.

COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO FISHING VESSEL SINKING NEAR OREGON

The Coast Guard has reported that its Portland unit received a call to assist in a search for two missing crewmembers that were aboard a fishing vessel when it sank near Oregon. The Coast Guard launched a jayhawk helicopter to assist in the search for the two missing crewmembers.

COAST GUARD NARROWS SERACH AREA FOR MISSING CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER

The Coast Guard has reported that it has narrowed its search for a missing cruise ship passenger who was reported as having fallen overboard from the cruise ship SAPPHIRE PRINCESS. The Coast Guard received information from the cruise line that estimates the cruise ship passenger fell overboard the SAPPHIRE PRINCESS shortly after departing Ketchikan Alaska. The Coast Guard is narrowing is search to approximately 15 miles south of Ketchikan Alaska.

COAST GUARD SEARCHING FOR MISSING CRUISE PASSENGER IN ALASKA'S INSIDE PASSAGE

The Coast Guard has reported that it is searching for a missing passenger from the Princess Cruise Line ship SAPPHIRE PRINCESS en route from Ketchikan Alaska. The woman was reported missing after she failed to leave the SAPPHIRE PRINCESS cruise ship as scheduled when it arrived in Vancouver. The crew of the SAPPHIRE PRINCESS have searched the cruise ship and found no signs of the passenger.

COAST GUARD SEARCHING FOR MAN OVERBOARD FROM THE BELLA ROSE

The Coast Guard has reported that it has suspended its search for a missing crewmember from aboard the BELLA ROSE. The BELLA ROSE, a 63 foot trawler, reported that between 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m., Friday, September 11, a crewmember had gone missing and was assumed fallen overboard.

TWO CREWMAN RESCUED FROM SHIP FIRE OFF OF WASHINGTON COAST

The Coast Guard has reported that the 60 foot fishing vessel PORTLUCK has caught fire ten miles off of the coast of Long Beach Washington. The two man crew of the vessel was able to relay a mayday before abandoning ship into a life raft. The Coast Guard cutter ACTIVE was diverted to the vessel and rescued the crew. The vessel was sunk to avoid potential pollution of coastal shores. The vessel was reported to have 400 gallons of diesel fuel on board. There were no reports of injuries and the cause the vessel fire is under investigation.

COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO SINKING VESSEL NEAR VALDEZ ALASKA

The Coast Guard reported that its Anchorage rescue center received a distress call from the charter vessel LONESTAR that a 20 foot jet boat with two crewmembers onboard was taking on water and had no radios to call for help and no pump equipment on board to stop the flooding.

LAST REMAINING ALASKA RANGER CASES TO PROCEED IN STATE COURT

Following the sinking of the ALASKA RANGER, the vessel owners, Fishing Company of Alaska, filed a petition for limitation of liability in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. By filing the limitation of liability action, the vessel owners were able to stay the pending State Court suits of the crewmen who survived the sinking. Twenty six crewman filed claims for physical and psychological injuries in the Federal limitation of liability action. All but two of those claims have been resolved with the assistance of a Federal Mediator. The claims of crewman Juan Barrios and fishing observer Gwen Rains remained pending in Federal Court until September 11, 2009 when, by stipulation of the parties, the stay of proceedings was lifted as to the Rains' and Barrios' actions. The amount of damages to be awarded in the Barrios case may now be decided by jury trial in Washington State Superior Court.

CREWMEMBER HOISTED OFF FISHING VESSEL KAREN JAN NEAR OREGON

The Coast Guard reported that on August 24, 2009 it received a call that a 30 year old crewmember aboard the KAREN JAN was having trouble breathing. The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter crew and transported the man from the KAREN JAN which was approximately 57 miles west of Lincoln City, Oregon to Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport.

SEVEN CREWMEN RESCUED NEAR JUNEAU, ALASKA

On August 17, 2009, the Coast Guard reported that their Juneau Command, along with the Alaska State Troopers rescued seven people near Tee Harbor along the Favorite Channel approximately 15 miles from Juneau, Alaska. Five of the crewmembers were rescued by a Good Samaritan vessel, the Juneau based fishing vessel LOYAL LADY.

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