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April 2012 Archives

Ferry Boat Splits in Two and Capsizes on Brahmaputra River, India

Dhubri, which is in northeast India, is a city of roughly 65,000 people, and is flanked on three sides by rivers, making river travel a common mode of transportation. It was on the largest of these rivers, the Brahmaputra, in the Dhubri district, that on April 30 a ferry loaded with passengers and their goods split in two and capsized. The weather consisted of heavy rain and strong wind, with very poor visibility.

S/V AEGEAN - Collision Suspected in Crew Fatalities

Small pieces of AEGEAN, a 37-foot sailing yacht which was racing in the 65th annual Newport to Ensenada sailboat race, were located off the Coronado Islands, just south of the California-Mexico border, on Saturday, April 28. The bodies of William Reed Johnson Jr., 57, of Torrance, CA, and Joseph Lester Stewart, 64, of Bradenton, FL, were found among the debris. Later that day, the body of Kevin Rudolf, 53, of Manhattan Beach, CA, was recovered. The fourth man, Theofanis Mavromatis, 49, of Redondo Beach, CA, the owner and captain of AEGEAN, is missing.

SAFARI SPIRIT Burns at Fishermen's Terminal, Seattle; Complete Loss

Cruise Yacht SAFARI SPIRIT, operated out of Juneau, AK, by American Safari Cruises, had been preparing for the upcoming tourist season at Fishermen's Terminal. She is listed as a 91-foot luxury cruise yacht with a 12-passenger and 6-crew capacity, and was apparently scheduled to sail May 11. SAFARI SPIRIT is now a total loss.

Captain of Tugboat STEVEN-SCOTT Missing - Presumed Overboard

According to reports, on April 25, at around 2:30 p.m., 91-foot tugboat STEVEN-SCOTT was about nine miles off Rhode Island towing a barge of 45,000 barrels of jet fuel when her crew noticed their captain, Brendan O'Leary, 48, of Marblehead, MA, had not been seen for the past hour. The crew contacted the Coast Guard, which responded immediately by boat, cutter, and helicopter. The seas at that time were 3-6 feet with up to 22-knot winds.

Follow-up: Injuries Aboard ALASKA OCEAN and ALASKA JURIS

As reported in our March 5 blog, in the space of one week, in separate incidents aboard separate factory trawlers in Alaska, one man on each ship suffered traumatic head injury, each from a snapped cable. One, on March 1, occurred on F/T ALASKA JURIS, owned by Fishing Company of Alaska, and resulted in the tragic death of Andrew Fotu, 25, of Seattle.

F/V HSIN MAN CHUN Crew Rescued from On-board Fire Thanks to AMVER Coordination

On Saturday, April 21, 70-foot Taiwanese F/V HSIN MAN CHUN caught fire, compelling the ten-person crew to abandon ship. The Coast Guard at Guam received an EPIRB signal from HSIN MAN CHUN at around 4:30 p.m., as well as word from a rescue center in Taipei that HSIN MAN CHUN's sister ship had radioed to them that HSIN MAN CHUN was on fire and that her crew were abandoning ship.

M/V MATISSE Crewmember Overboard and Missing at Columbia River

Shortly before 1:00 a.m. on April 21, the Coast Guard at Astoria was alerted by the crew of 591-foot bulk carrier MATISSE, which had been headed out to sea, that a person had fallen overboard near the entrance of the Columbia River. The Coast Guard deployed a helicopter and a response boat, and were joined in the search by the crew of bar pilot vessel COLUMBIA.

F/V ENTERPRISE Crewmember Injured and Medevaced Off New Jersey

At around 5:30 a.m. on April 18, the Coast Guard at Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey, received a radio alert from F/V ENTERPRISE, a 75-foot clam boat, that Joe Montgomery, 47, had been hit in the head by a dislodged pipe. ENTERPRISE was about six miles offshore at the time. Mr. Montgomery's condition was such that he could not be transferred by the motor life boat deployed by the Coast Guard, so the Coast Guard escorted ENTERPRISE to Point Pleasant Beach, where emergency medical crews awaited to transfer the injured man for further care.

RMS TITANIC Legacy Continues to Save Lives

RMS TITANIC sank at around 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, and an estimated 1,490 to 1,635 lives were cut short. This past Tuesday, April 10, U.S. Coast Guard, Titanic Historical Society, Titanic International Society, and the Titanic Museum Attractions held a commemorative ceremony in Boston. On April 14, five wreaths were dropped by Coast Guard helicopter over where the Titanic rests, and the crew of Coast Guard CUTTER JUNIPER scattered 1.5 million rose petals at sea.

S/V LOW SPEED CHASE Grounded Near Farallon Islands; Three Rescued, One Deceased, Four Missing

On April 14, the eight member crew of 38-foot S/V LOW SPEED CHASE was participating in the Full Crew Farallones Race around the Farallon Islands, an island group located about 27 miles west of Golden Gate, CA. At around 3:00 that afternoon, The Coast Guard at Alameda, CA, received an EPIRB signal registered to LOW SPEED CHASE, while the Coast Guard at San Francisco received a mayday call regarding the sailboat.

LADY CECELIA Disappearance Investigation Continues - Public Hearing This Week in Oregon

This week, April 16 - 20, at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, the Coast Guard is holding a public hearing as it continues its formal investigation of how LADY CECELIA and the four men aboard may have disappeared.

F/V L&M Runs Aground at Sapelo Island, Georgia

The master of 49-foot shrimp boat L&M sent out a maritime distress call around 4:30 a.m. on April 15. Coast Guard Air Station Savannah deployed a helicopter crew, who located L&M grounded on her starboard side in the waters just off Sapelo Island. The two L&M crewmembers were airlifted to safety with no reports of injury.

F/V ELAINE Fisherman Overboard and Missing off Moss Landing, California

At around 6:30 this morning, the crew F/V ELAINE notified the Coast Guard that one of their crew had gone overboard and was missing. A full-scale search was launched by air, sea, and beach by Coast Guard, local Monterey County fire departments, and California State Parks, but so far the man has not been found. The crew of ELAINE apparently were not certain exactly where their mate had gone overboard, so the search has extended roughly nine miles off the coast of Moss Landing, which is approximately fifty miles south of San Francisco, and between the Pajaro and Salinas Rivers. The search continues this afternoon, but is no longer full-scale.

Squalicum Marina Fire in Bellingham, Washington - Two People Are Missing

At around 5:30 a.m. on March 30, at the Squalicum Harbor marina in Bellingham, a number of 9-1-1 calls reported a fire. One of the calls was made by Sterling Taylor, who is one of the two missing people who are said to have lived aboard their 42-foot power boat, BREAKWIND, which sunk in the marina fire. The other missing person is her husband, Jim Langei. In her 9-1-1 call, Ms. Taylor apparently expressed that they were trapped on board. By the time firefighters reached the dock, their boat was enveloped in flame.

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