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The 67-foot fishing vessel Desire has reportedly sunk 20 miles west of the Umpqua River on the Oregon Coast.  The crew issued a May Day call to the Coast Guard Monday at around nine o’clock.  The vessel’s EPIRB also signaled the Coast Guard the vessel’s location. All five crewmen aboard the vessel donned survival suits and were able to get into the vessel’s life raft. The crewmen were hoisted by two helicopters dispatched to the scene

The Desire homeport is listed as Neah Bay, Washington. All five of the crewmembers were taken to North Bend, Oregon. The cause of the sinking is under investigation at this time.  The incident stresses the vital role emergency preparedness plays in saving fishermen’s life.  Commercial fishing off the Coast of Washington remains extremely dangerous with few regulations governing vessel safety.

The maritime lawyers at Johnson Beard & Trueb PC represent injured commercial fishermen and their families to recover compensation for injuries under the Jones Act and Federal Maritime Law.
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The Coast Guard reports after receiving a May Day message, four crewman from the 53-foot fishing vessel Julia Breeze have been rescued.  The crew were forced to done survival suits and abandon ship into the vessel’s life raft after taking on water near Cape Ommaney.  The vessel’s EPIRB helped guide USCG rescue helicopters to the scene.  All four crew members were reported in good condition and flown to Kodiak for further evaluation.  The cause of the vessel sinking is under investigation.  Tragedy was avoid in this matter by having proper safety equipment on board the vessel.

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Four crewmen from the Alaska fishing vessel LAURA were forced to abandon ship Monday.   The vessel ran aground forcing the crewmembers into survival rafts.  A United States Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter located the crewmen and hoisted them to safety.  Winds of 24 mph were reported at the scene.  The vessel is reported to be carrying 4000 gallons of fuel.  Investigation into the accident is to be conducted by the Coast Guard.  It is unknown why the vessel went aground.

The Coast Guard noted that the Laura’s survival suits, flares, radios, and strobes all played a part in a good outcome. No known injuries to the crew are known at this time, and it sounds like the crew is now safe and sound.

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A deckhand on the 117-foot crab fishing vessel Patricia Lee was seriously injured Tuesday while working on deck.  Early reports indicate that the crewman suffered serious injury to his pelvis when he was pinned between the crab pot and the vessels rail.  Alaska crab pots can approach a thousand pounds in weight, and when being landed, moved and set in heavy seas can result in serious injury to vessel crewmen.  It is important to keep the pots under control at all times and to avoid fishing in excessive weather conditions or when a vessel is undermanned. A basic principle of maritime law is that the employer owes every crewman aboard their vessel a safe place to work.

The injury to the Patricia Lee crewman happened 200 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor. Weather on site was reported to be 40-50 knot winds with 14-foot seas.  The injured crewman was medevacked from the fishing vessel by a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and taken to Dutch Harbor.  The crewman was reportedly medevacked from Dutch Harbor to Anchorage for further treatment.

Working on Alaska crab remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.  Crewman injured working aboard crab vessels such as the Patricia Lee are covered by complex system of Federal Maritime Laws and statutes commonly referred to as the Jones Act.   The experienced maritime lawyers at Johnson Beard & Trueb know how accidents happen at sea and how crewman injuries could have been prevented.  We understand how your injuries impact you and your family’s future.  The lawyers at Johnson Beard & Trueb have offices in Anchorage and Seattle. They have handle over a thousand Jones Act cases and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their clients located throughout the country. Johnson Beard & Trueb are the lawyers Alaska fishermen trust to get fair compensation for their injuries. 

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Five passengers from the Holland American Line cruise ship New Amsterdam have lost their lives in a sightseeing excursion plane crash near Ketchikan Alaska.  The accident happened Thursday, when a De Havilland Beaver aircraft crashed near Misty Fjords National Monument approximately eight miles   northeast of Ketchikan Alaska. The pilot of the aircraft was also killed in the accident which had no survivors. Authorities were alerted to the crash by the plane’s emergency alert beacon which was activated around 11:30AM .   United States Coast Guard helicopter rescue crews subsequently located the crash site around 2:30 PM and confirmed the tragic loss.   The Coast Guard indicates the weather conditions around take off for the plane were a 900-foot cloud ceiling with two miles of visibility, with mist and light rain, and 9 mph winds.

The sightseeing plane was reportedly owned and operated by Southeast Aviation LLC.   A statement released by Holland America indicated the excursion ticket was not sold by Holland America. Early reports indicate the lost passengers started their seven day Holland America cruise in Seattle and Ketchikan was the cruise ship’s first stop.

Ketchikan is one of the regular Alaska cruise ship stops and offers wide variety of excursions for cruise ship passengers while the cruise vessels are in port including many float plane sight-seeing trips. Unfortunately, several flights near Misty Fjords have turned deadly.  In 2019 a mid air collision between two sightseeing planes resulted in the death of six passengers.  In 2015 another sightseeing excursion plane crashed into a mountain side killing nine persons.

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A Casualty Investigation into the sinking of the Coastal Reign will be conducted by the United States Coast Guard.  The Coastal Reign capsized on Saturday while crossing the Tillamook Bar.  Two crewmen were lost in the tragedy.  The Investigation will examine the facts and circumstances that may have caused the 38-foot crab vessel to sink, with a view to making recommendations about accident prevention in the future.

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A 45-year-old crewman on the Alaska Ocean has suffered a crushed arm requiring helicopter evacuation.   The serious injury happened 30 miles northeast of Cold Bay.  The ALASKA OCEAN contacted Health Force Partners for advice who recommended evacuation by the Coast Guard.  A helicopter airlifted the injured crewman to Cold Bay, and he was subsequently flown out to Alaska.  The Alaska Ocean is the largest catcher/processor vessel in the US fleet. The Alaska Ocean is operated by Seattle based Glacier Fish Company.  The cause of this most recent accident is unknown at this time.

Federal Maritime Law covers injury accidents involving Alaska commercial fishermen.  Under Federal law the vessel must arrange for medical evacuation of injured fishermen. The vessel owner must pay for all reasonable medical expenses related to a crewman’s injury.  The Jones Act provides compensation to fishermen who are injured by negligence of the employer or fellow crewmen.

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The Warrenton based crab boat Crystal Reign sank while crossing the Tillamook Bar on Saturday, February 20, 2021.  One of four crewmen rescued from the sinking vessel has now died and another crewman remains in critical condition. Due to heavy weather conditions, the USCG was reportedly monitoring the Crystal Reign from a watch tower as the vessel crossed the bar. Coast Guard rescuers saw the 38-foot crab boat overturn in heavy surf.   News accounts report 51-year-old Todd Chase was lost in the accident.   The death of the crewman and loss of the vessel will be investigated.  Fishing on the Washington and Oregon Coast mains one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.  Federal Maritime Law governs safety on crab fishing vessels such as the Crystal Reign.

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A crewman from the F/V McKenzie rose suffered a head injury Saturday.  The incident happened approximately 100 miles west of Coos Bay on the Oregon coast.  The Captain of the vessel radioed the Coast Guard for help around 5:30 A.M.   A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter airlifted the injured crewman to shore for further evaluation and treatment. The current condition of the 26-year-old crewman is unknown.  The facts and circumstances of the incident are unavailable at this time.  Crewman are reminded to wear protective equipment such as hard hats and helmets when there is potential for a head injury.

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Concerns grow as more crewmen have tested positive for Covid 19 aboard American Seafoods Alaska fishing vessels American Triumph and Northern American. Following positive test results for 85 crewmen aboard the American Dynasty last week crewmen aboard the American Triumph and Northern Jaeger were tested this week after arriving in Bellingham, Washington.   Initial reports indicate 21 crewmen aboard the Northern Jaeger tested positive and there were four positive test results aboard the American Triumph.  Both vessels carry 110 crewmen.  The positive testing crewmen have been placed in quarantine.

Under Federal Maritime Law and the Jones Act the employer and vessel owner owes a duty to its crew to provide a safe place to work.  In the situation such as that involving the Covid 19 virus the employer must implement property safety procedures and protocols, testing and modifications to prevent crewmen from being infected with the virus.

Before starting their fishing trips in the middle of June American Seafoods reported they imposed a five-day quarantine on all crewmen and tested all crewmen for Covid 19 and only negative testing crewmen were allowed on the vessels.  Infectious disease medical experts have questioned the effectiveness of the shorter five-day quarantine utilized by American Seafoods, and American Seafoods has now adopted the more widely recommended 14-day quarantine protocol.

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