Articles Posted in Injuries to Crewman

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An injured crewman from O’Hara fishing vessel Constellation was airlifted from the vessel Monday.  Few details of the accident are currently available; however, early reports indicate the crewman suffered serious injuries to his arm when a hatch was closed upon him.  At the time of the injury the vessel was fishing near St. Paul Island. Winds were measured at 44 mph with 10-foot seas.  After the Coast Guard helicopter brought the injured crewman to St. Paul, a Guardian flight transported the crewman to Anchorage for emergency medical attention.

The 169-foot Constellation is part of a fleet of Alaska ground fishing vessels owned by the Seattle based O’Hara Corporation. O’Hara is one of the oldest fishing companies in the United States. Other vessel owned by O’Hara include the Araho, Enterprise, Defender, and the Alaska Spirit.

Unfortunately, many Alaska fishermen’s fishing careers end with injuries that could have been prevented if proper safety procedures had been followed. Injured Alaska fishermen and fish processors are entitled to maritime benefits under Federal Maritime Law. The vessel owner owes each crewman a safe place to work and a seaworthy vessel. Benefits under the maintenance and cure doctrine include payment of all reasonable and necessary medical care, payment of wages until the end of the crewman’s contract, and payment of a daily living allowance (maintenance) while the crewman is recovering from their injuries.
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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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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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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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 An Alaska fisherman has suffered a serious hand injury working aboard the F/V ALASKA DREAM.  The 49 year old crewman was airlifted by the Coast Guard after suffering a serious finger injury.  The risk of infection required fast medical attention.  The incident happened southwest of Kodiak Alaska.  No further details of the injury are currently available.  Crewmen working aboard Alaska commercial fishing boats frequently suffer serious hand and finger injuries.  Proper safety guards and procedures can prevent many of these type of injuries from happening.

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The Coast Guard has airlifted a deckhand from the Arctic Storm. The crewman was reportedly struck in the head and suffered a severe head injury after hit by a loose crane hook. The 64-year-old crewman was evacuated from the vessel Monday morning and transferred to shore for emergency medical treatment. The incident happened approximately 25 miles of Brookings.

The Arctic Storm is an Alaska catcher processor. The vessel is 334 feet long and carries a crew of 134 commercial fisherman and fish processors. Crewmen injured working at sea on commercial fishing vessels are protected by the Jones Act and the General Maritime Law. Working at sea aboard commercial fishing vessels remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

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            An injured crewman from the fishing vessel PHOENIX has been airlifted from the boat for emergency medical treatment. The Phoenix was working approximately 25 miles west of La Push, Washington.  The circumstances of the incident are unknown at this time.    

            Serious hand injuries frequently happen aboard Commercial Fishing Vessels. Most of those accidents may have been avoided if proper safety precautions had been followed.  In part regulations in the Fishing Vessel Safety Act, vessel owners are required to guard many parts of the machinery found in a fish factory. 

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A crewman was seriously injured Friday while working aboard the Alaska Fishing Vessel ARAHO.  The 51-year-old crewman was reportedly working in the vessel factory stacking pans when a storage crate fell upon him. The detailed circumstances leading up to the injury are currently unknown.

The crew of the ARAHO called the Coast Guard and injured crewman was airlifted by helicopter to St. Paul Island where he was to be evacuated for further medical treatment.

The ARAHO is a 194-foot Bering Sea trawler owned by O’Hara Fisheries.  The vessel was built as a state of the art fishing vessel in 2017.

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October 22, 2018

A 64-year-old crewman suffered a head injury after being struck in the face by a crane hook aboard the ARCTIC STORM. Due to possible complications from blunt force trauma to the head the Coast Guard recommended medical evacuation by helicopter.  The incident happened 25 miles off the Oregon coast.  There is no news about the status of the injured fisherman. The ARTIC STORM is a 270-foot factory trawler that fishes in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon.

All deckhands working with deck cranes on fishing vessels should be properly trained. All hooks, safety hooks, lines, and controls should be kept in safe operating order.  Early reports in this case indicate the crewman was struck by a “loose crane hook”.  Hooks should be secured at all times.

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A crewman working aboard the Alaska crab boat Patricia Lee was hit in the head by a crab pot Monday evening.  A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued the man who was suffering from a head injury  symptoms.   The injured crewman was taken to Dutch Harbor for further medical evaluation where he was reported to be in stable condition.

Working on the deck of an Alaska crab boat is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.  The crewmen who sometimes work in heavy weather conditions are at risk of injury from swinging crab pots that sometimes weigh as much as a thousand pounds. It is important that proper safety procedures be utilized to protect the crew from injuries.

In this case, following the crewman’s injury, the Patricia Lee contacted the Coast Guard for medical advice. The Coast Guard Flight Surgeon recommended that the injured crewman be medevaced from the vessel.  In total because of the Patricia Lee’s distance from shore the medical evacuation involved two separate coast guard crews and involved two different helicopters.

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