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January 2013 Archives

F/V MASONIC Assisted by Coast Guard and Good Samaritan Near Fairweather Ground, Alaska

On the afternoon of January 30, the four-person crew of F/V MASONIC contacted the Coast Guard because their vessel pump was not keeping pace with flooding about five miles west of Fairweather Ground. MASONIC is a 73-foot wooden-hulled boat built in 1938. Conditions at the time were reported as 25mph winds with gusts up to 35mph and 11-foot seas.

Fishing Vessels Escorted Back to Port by Coast Guard for Safety Violations

During the past week, the Coast Guard escorted two fishing vessels back to Alaskan ports after finding safety problems during at-sea safety inspections. One of the vessels had expired fire extinguishers, two of which were inoperable due to water corrosion; the other vessel had cracks in the vessel buoyant apparatus and was missing survival suits. Now the operators of these vessels must address these problems and pass a dockside safety exam before getting underway again to fish.

Punitive Damages in Maritime Law

Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are those damages awarded by judge or jury in civil cases where the defendant has been found to have acted with outrageous disregard for the rights of the plaintiff, often for monetary gain. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for gross negligence and purposeful misconduct as well as to send a strong warning that such actions will have consequences. The plaintiff receives this award on top of any other damages awarded.

Fisherman Overboard Off Washington Coast - F/V SENJA

On January 16, at about 1:30 a.m., the crew of Westport-based F/V SENJA radioed the Coast Guard that their crew mate, said to be 56-year-old John Salas, had gone overboard while setting crab pots approximately eight miles west of the mouth of the Queets River. According to reports, he was not wearing a life jacket. Seas at the time were calm with good visibility and a water temperature of about 48 degrees. After a search by air and sea of over seven hours, covering over 91 square miles, the Coast Guard was compelled to suspend the search. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Salas and his family and friends.

F/V FOXY LADY II Wreck Located Off Massachusetts Coast

Back on December 17, 2012, 45-foot, Gloucester-based scalloping vessel FOXY LADY II and her two-man crew were reported overdue from fishing off the coast of Massachusetts. FOXY LADY II was not located, and the Coast Guard sea and air search at that time eventually had to be suspended.

Ferry SEASTREAK WALL STREET Allides with Manhattan Pier

At 8:43, at the end of her second trip of the morning on January 9, passenger ferry SEASTREAK WALL STREET allided with Pier 11 at a speculated 10 - 12 knots, causing passengers and crew alike to be thrown up to ten feet forward and to the floor or down stairs. According to reports, 74 people of the 326 people aboard were injured; some were treated at the scene, but 57 people, including those with head injuries, were taken by emergency personnel to the hospital. One person was reported in critical condition and another nine people were reported in serious condition.

Dock Washed onto Washington Beach Confirmed as Japanese in Origin

The 70-foot dock which was found washed ashore in a wilderness area south of LaPush, Washington, this past December 18 has been confirmed to be Japanese in origin, and presumed to be one of four docks from Misawa swept away during the tsunami there nearly two years ago.

"Common Sense" Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012

On December 20, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 (H.R. 2838). The Act went into effect on the first of this year. This bill reverses the previously proposed cuts to U.S. Coast Guard funding, site, and personnel and instead designates to the Coast Guard $8.6 billion for fiscal year 2013 and $8.7 billion for fiscal year 2014 for its service operations.

F/V PACIFIC PRODUCER Leaks Ammonia While Docked at Kodiak

PACIFIC PRODUCER, a 169-foot steel-hulled fish processing vessel built in 1946, has been docked at Pier 2 in Kodiak for around two months, even though the City has requested the owner to remove it. On December 31, two crewmembers, who were living on board, fled the ship, reporting an ammonia leak. Kodiak and Coast Guard firefighters cleared the area during their investigation and closed all valves within the ammonia system.

2013 Crab Fishing Season Opens - F/V NORTHERN STAR Disabled Second Day

The afternoon of January 1, soon after the start of Dungeness crab fishing season, the crew of Ilwaco-based 50-foot F/V NOTHERN STAR experienced engine trouble while crabbing off the Washington coast, and ended up calling the Coast Guard for help. According to reports, the Coast Guard safely towed NORTHERN STAR, with about 14,000 pounds of crab on board, safely back into Ilwaco later that evening.

F/V ROBERT HENRY Runs Aground Near Coos Bay, Oregon

F/V ROBERT HENRY grounded off Cape Arago, which is just south of Coos Bay, Oregon, on January 2. The Coast Guard was alerted by the vessel EPIRB and sent out a motor lifeboat, but the surrounding rocks prevented them from getting close enough to ROBERT HENRY. The three fishermen aboard were rescued via Coast Guard helicopter airlift at 3:30 a.m. and taken to shore for medical assessment. No injuries were reported.

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