Articles Posted in Maritime Issues

A lifeboat being used on a safety drill aboard the Thomson Cruises’ cruise Vessel Thomson Majesty in Spain’s Canary Islands fell about 65 feet into a port on Sunday when a cable snapped, trapping crew members beneath it. Five crewmembers were killed in the accident and three more were injured. None of the hundreds of passengers aboard the British-operated vessel were involved in the accident.

Divers raced to the lifeboat, which had hit the water upside down, recovering four bodies and trying without success to revive a fifth crewman who had stopped breathing. The three injured crew members were taken by ambulance to a hospital in La Palma, and are said to be not badly hurt.

The ship docked at the island’s port of Santa Cruz in the morning, after arriving there from the neighboring island of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It was due to depart at 3 p.m. for Funchal on the mid-Atlantic island of Madeira with 1,498 passengers and 594 crew aboard.

A man was medically evacuated from a 435-foot tank ship by a Coast Guard helicopter crew Saturday evening, approximately 50 miles southeast of the Texas-Mexico border.

The Stolt Flamenco crew contacted Coast Guard watchstanders at about 2:30 p.m. and requested a medevac for a Filipino crewmember who was struck by a crane while working on deck and had lost feeling in the lower half of his body.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted the man aboard and dropped him off to an awaiting EMS crew at Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport at 6:50 p.m. where he was taken to Brownsville Valley Baptist hospital.

Kitsap Transit’s research ferry Rich Passage 1 ran aground Monday while en route to the Port of Port Townsend to be hauled out of the water for winter maintenance. There were three people onboard at the time of the allision.

The vessel nosed onto the beach while going through narrow Hadlock Cut between Indian Island and the Jefferson County mainland after going on the wrong side of the channel marker. The captain tried to back off the beach, but the boat didn’t easily break free, so he shut it down to prevent sucking anything into the water jets. Officials expect to refloat the vessel at high tide today.

Coast Guard experts inspected the boat and didn’t find any damage other than some scraped paint.

Oil-tanker traffic in Washington waters is set to increase under a proposal floated by Canadian energy giant Kinder Morgan.

The company earlier this month announced that so much interest was expressed by potential customers in long-term purchase contracts for Canadian tar-sands oil that it is bumping up the proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain Pipeline announced last year.

The company said this month it wants to increase its pipeline capacity from 750,000 barrels per day announced last April to 890,000 barrels per day.

The Tacoma Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology are responding to the sinking of two abandoned vessels moored at Mason Marina on the Hylebos Waterway near Tacoma early today.

The abandoned Helena Star and Golden West were chained together when they sank Friday morning. Officials say the boats are derelicts – 167 and 130 feet long – that were intended to be dismantled.

Oil containment boom has been placed around both vessels to prevent possible pollution from any residual fuel that may remain inside. Most of the fuel was removed from the vessels last March, limiting the potential for pollution to the waterway from these vessels.

State lawmakers may reconsider the law that requires new ferries to be built in Washington.

An audit suggested ferries could be built cheaper at shipyards out of state. The audit, which cost $1.2 million and took a year to complete, is the subject of a legislative hearing today in Olympia.

The audit was designed to answer the following questions:

Coast Guard crews are searching for a missing 56-year-old fisherman who went overboard early today in the Pacific Ocean off the Olympic Peninsula, eight miles west of the Queets River.

The man, reportedly not wearing a lifejacket, fell overboard from the fishing boat Senja about 1:30 a.m. today eight miles northwest of Cape Elizabeth, which is north of Ocean Shores.

A Coast Guard helicopter from Astoria, Ore., and a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Westport were searching for the missing man in 48-degree water, with six-foot waves and five-knot winds.

A commuter ferry packed with 326 passengers and five crewmembers crashed into a dock at Manhattan’s Pier 11, near Wall Street around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, injuring 74. At least two were critically injured, one of whom was rushed to surgery with severe head trauma and bleeding after falling down a flight of stairs. Nine people were in serious condition.

Aerial footage showed people strapped to stretchers, their heads and necks immobilized, with emergency response crews swarming the ferry and surrounding areas.

The force of the crash tossed some morning commuters in the air and sent others tumbling down stairs, witnesses said. As investigators and officials, including New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, surveyed the damage, a large gash was visible in the ferry’s starboard bow.

A ferry loaded with hundreds of commuters from New Jersey crashed into a dock in lower Manhattan today during the morning rush hour, injuring around 50 people, at least two critically.

Passengers aboard the Seastreak Wall Street said scores of people who had been standing, waiting to disembark, were hurled to the deck by the impact.

”We were pulling into the dock. The boat hit the dock. We just tumbled on top of each other. I got thrown into everybody else. … People were hysterical, crying,” said Ellen Foran, 57, of Neptune City, N.J.

The Coast Guard towed a 40-foot fishing vessel and its crew to safety, Thursday, after it ran aground approximately three miles north of the Quillayute River mouth near La Push, Wash.

The Coast Guard received a mayday call from the four-member crew of the Jayden Ray at 2:20 a.m., after their fishing vessel washed up on rocks and was unable to deploy its anchor.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., and a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Quillayute River, located in La Push, deployed to the scene. The motor lifeboat crew was able to navigate through the rocks and throw over a towline at approximately 3:30 a.m., after receiving aid from a spotlight shone from the helicopter.