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February 13th, 2011

Commercial Fishing Vessel Runs Aground off Alaska Coast, Crew Rescued

A fishing crew was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew.  Five fishermen from the Kodiak-based 68-foot fishing vessel Midnite Sun, Francisco Jackson, 50, Clint Parks, 45, Michael Hintz, 28, William Kingery, 21, all Kodiak residents and Levi Russell, 20, residence unknown, were on board when their vessel grounded on Tanaak Cape.  Thankfully, so far no injuries have been reported.

The Midnight Sun reportedly has 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board.  The Coast Guard will assess vessel condition and environmental impact, and as needed the potential environmental response and salvage operation.

The weather at the time of the incident was reported as 52 mph winds with 18 to 20 foot seas.

This was the second fishing-vessel rescue this week for the helicopter crews, totaling 10 fishermen rescued, the Coast Guard said.  The rough sea conditions were a factor in these fishing boat crewmember rescue operations.  According to NIOSH, commercial fishing is the most dangerous occupation in the United States, with an annual fatality rate of 142 deaths/100,000 fishermen, almost 36 times higher than the fatality rate for the average American worker.  20 to 40 vessels are lost and about 100 fishermen must be rescued each year from the freezing cold Alaska waters.  Furthermore, the Coast Guard Search and Rescue operations teams are at risk for injury or death during rescue attempts.

The commercial fishing boat injury lawyers of Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers have handled cases in and near Alaska for over 45 years.  Our maritime attorneys have significant experience dealing with exposure cases, post-traumatic stress, orthopedic injuries and other damages associated with a boat capsize.  Contact us today at info@smslegal.com.

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