Vessel Sinking Accident in Alaska Leaves Five Missing After Search
Commercial fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States, with a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average worker fatality rate. Data from CDC.gov confirms this. The NIOSH Western States Division (WSD) office in Alaska has been studying fishing safety since 1991 in an effort to reduce the number of commercial injuries and fatalities. The CDC has identified the biggest risks to fishermen as vessel disasters, falls overboard and machinery on deck.
Vessel sinking accident in Alaska leaves five missing after search
According to an article on NationalFishermen.com, about 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, an Alaska crabbing vessel named the Scandies Rose sunk after enduring an intense storm with winds in excess of 40 mph, 15- to 20-foot waves, heavy freezing spray and visibility of only one mile. There were seven men on board the boat when it sank near Sutwik Island. The crew sent out a mayday call, received by watchstanders and relayed to the Kodiak search and rescue command center. Two of the men were rescued by a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak who braved the storm; they were found on a life raft. A 20-hour search ensued for the other five men in the area around the Scandies Rose last known position, 170 miles southwest of Kodiak. The search spanned 1,400 square miles and involved two Hercules aircraft, four helicopters and a Hamilton class cutter ship. Efforts were abandoned on Wednesday the 1st at 6:08 p.m. local time after a range of factors were considered by the coast guard.
Fishing vessel sinking accident statistics
An analysis of fishing vessel casualties by the United States Coast Guard shows that between 1992 and 2007, 1,903 vessels were lost at sea, resulting in 934 fatalities. Of these fatalities, 507 were crew lost with the ship. Over this 16-year period, there was an average of 58 fisherman fatalities and 119 lost fishing vessels per year.
Commercial boat employers owe a duty of care to their employees
The vast majority of accidents and subsequent injuries on commercial fishing boats are preventable. Maritime law says that commercial fishing vessel owners and employers owe a duty of care to their employees to provide a reasonably safe work environment by:
- Providing a seaworthy and reasonably fit vessel
- Keeping the vessel free of hazards like broken flooring and spills
- Appropriately marking walkways
- Keeping equipment in good working order
- Providing appropriate training, supervision and manpower to get the job done safely
- Providing maintenance and cure services to injured workers
Seek the help of a maritime injury attorney
Contact an experienced Jones Act Attorney as soon as possible after an injury or the loss of a loved one. Remember that your employer’s interest is to protect their bottom line; not your health, wallet, or career. You will want a skilled attorney on your side.
If you or a loved one was injured due to the reckless/negligent behavior of another seaman or maritime employer, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced maritime injury attorney fight for justice on your behalf. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a maritime accident lawyer. Call the most experienced practicing maritime accident attorneys Bellingham has at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing grieving family members in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!