Crowley Vessel Performs Second At-Sea Rescue in Less than a Year

MarineLink.com
Thursday, October 03, 2013
Photo: Crowley

The crew aboard Crowley Maritime Corporation’s articulated tug-barge (ATB) Achievement/650-8 has performed its second rescue in nine months, this time saving the lives of four individuals aboard a 30-foot fishing boat taking on water 35 miles offshore from Clearwater, Fla., during a strong storm.

On the evening of September 15, the Achievement/650-8 was instructed to stand by and not proceed inbound to Tampa Bay due to a strong squall moving through the area, which brought torrential rains, 50-knot winds and heavy seas.  Due to the weather, the Tampa pilots also suspended boarding operations and the on-watch crew began to observe several marine advisories and distress calls come in over the radio in a very short period of time.

“While the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) was very responsive in assisting the boaters in distress, one fisherman in particular was having difficulty communicating over his radio, as it got drenched in the storm,” explained Crowley’s Capt. Gus Cramer. “It was clear, however, that he was offshore in the stormy conditions.  At that time, the Coast Guard was stretched very thin because the squall caught everyone by surprise and there were many boaters in distress.  After a few minutes of monitoring their calls for assistance, it was clear that we were the closest vessel to their location, approximately 12 nautical miles south.”

Around 5:40 p.m., knowing the sun would go down in a few hours, Cramer made an urgent call to the USCG informing them that they were proceeding to assist the sinking offshore fishing boat. The USCG acknowledged and requested that the Achievement/650-8 keep them updated on the status of the rescue. Cramer then readied his crew and redirected the ATB towards the distressed vessel’s position at full speed. During the voyage out to sea, the Achievement/650-8 team stayed in constant communication with the fishing boat crew to receive regular updates of their changing position.

“What made the rescue more difficult was the fact that the captain of the fishing boat had to keep running with the winds and waves in order to prevent the vessel from continuing to take on water and sinking,” Cramer said. “Unfortunately, the winds and waves caused them to move farther and farther away from us and further offshore. After 45 minutes of traveling in their direction, we only gained four or five miles in their direction.”

Cramer radioed the driver of the boat requesting that he slow the fishing boat as much as was safe to do so, and the ATB slowly made up ground. After two hours at sea and shortly before nightfall, the Achievement/650-8 spotted the fishermen just as their radio died. Cramer messaged the USCG to alert them that the ATB was on scene and the crew readied the rescue equipment.

Once alongside the fishing boat, Cramer’s crew lowered the pilot ladder over the side, which is a tool traditionally used to allow harbor pilots to board.  After a few attempts to make a rescue attempt on the port side, Chief Mate Ryan Emmons readied the pilot ladder on the starboard side. Using only his flashlight and voice commands, he directed the vessel to come along the ATB. Once on the starboard side, a sea painter (rope) was passed to the vessel to keep them close and the  Achievement/650-8 made a lee (a slow, sweeping turn to starboard) allowing the fishermen, who fortunately were uninjured, a safer and easier climb up the ladder. All four individuals were safely evacuated from the distressed boat and came aboard the Crowley vessel. No injuries were reported.

Once everyone was safely onboard, Achievement/650-8 attempted to tow the stricken fishing boat back to Tampa. Unfortunately, the line had to be cut to due to continued high seas that complicated the tow.  The Crowley crew communicated the coordinates of the drifting fishing boat to the USCG so that it could be located later.

The  Achievement/650-8 and the rescued persons arrived back at the Tampa sea buoy at 12:30 the following morning, and proceeded inbound for a petroleum berth in downtown Tampa, arriving around 05:30 a.m. Despite being chilled and wet, all four individuals walked off of the Crowley vessel and had no need for medical attention. Following the incident, the Achievement/650-8 safely delivered a load of fuel.

“The Crowley crew did a phenomenal job working as a team to save the lives of these fishermen,” said Cramer. “We chose the safest-possible plan and it worked because everyone knew what to do well in advance and the crew worked as a team.”

The crew aboard the  Achievement/650-8, which is a member of Crowley's petroleum services fleet, is fully trained and prepared to respond to a variety of incidents. In addition to meeting defined regulatory training requirements, the company’s crewmembers participate annually in company-sponsored safety programs, designed exclusively for mariners. The program provides training in survival tactics, shipboard fire fighting, medical incidents and other relevant topics to give the mariners the skills they need to survive in emergency situations.

“The great actions of this crew are due to their safety training, diligence and ability to work together,” said Crowley’s Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manger, petroleum and chemical transportation. “The entire Crowley family is exceptionally proud of the crew for their bravery and competency in yet another challenging situation this year. These crewmembers are true heroes and deserve to be recognized for their actions.”

Achievement/650-8 crewmembers responsible for the rescue include Capt. Cramer; Chief Mate Emmons; Second Mate Peter Madden; A/B Thomas “Duke” Ellington; Third Mate Dennis Blackman; A/B Louis Ferrer; Engineer Vince Mull; Assistant Engineers Zach Lindsey, Calvin Burrus and Mark Lettieri; A/B Tankerman Ronnie Robinson; and Robeson Carrier, cook. The trip was the last for Burrus, who had plans to retire after the voyage.

The first rescue of 2013 involved this same heroic crew, again led by Crowley’s Capt. Cramer, which rescued a badly injured man who was struggling to stay afloat near the base of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in the Bay. During the rescue, the Crowley team quickly lowered the vessel's rescue boat while underway and managed to pull the man from the water in less than eight minutes from the initial sighting and wrapped him in a blanket until the St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue boat arrived on scene to perform other life-saving treatments.

crowley.com
 

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Workboats

MN 100: ContainerTug B.V.

The Company: ContainerTug B.V. is a specialized Dutch naval design engineering and construction company with a strong focus on developing workboats and the evaluation

MN 100: Bordelon Marine

The Company: Founded in 1979, Bordelon Marine is a leading provider of Marine Transportation services operating in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world. The

MN 100: Bouchard Transportation

The Company: Bouchard Transportation’s history dates back to its incorporation in 1918 by founder, Capt. Fred Bouchard, the youngest tugboat captain in the Port of New York.

News

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Panama Canal Suspends Draft Restriction

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has lifted scheduled vessel draft restrictions brought on by lingering draught conditions in the region.   The ACP had previously set restrictions of 11.

Med Crude-Russian Urals Edges Lower in Med, Baltic

Russian Urals crude weakened in the Mediterranean and in the Baltic on Friday, while trading activity was limited ahead of a long holiday weekend in Britain, traders said.

Barges

MN 100: Bouchard Transportation

The Company: Bouchard Transportation’s history dates back to its incorporation in 1918 by founder, Capt. Fred Bouchard, the youngest tugboat captain in the Port of New York.

ASL Shipyard Secures S$140mln Build Contracts

ASL Shipyard Pte Ltd. a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASL Marine Holdings Ltd., has secured new shipbuilding contracts worth approximately S$140 million for the construction

The Maritime Person of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team.

Coast Guard

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Sunken Towboat Lifted from Neches River

A towboat that sank in Texas' Neches River August 21, and caused a temporary closure of the waterway, was lifted out of the water Wednesday Evening. T&T Marine,

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Maritime Safety

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Tropical Storm Erika Heads for Florida

Tropical Storm Erika lashed Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with heavy rain and fierce winds on Friday, moving across the Caribbean and apparently heading for the Dominican Republic,

ClassNK to Issue Guidance on Composite Propellers

Classification society ClassNK announced it will release the world’s first Guidelines on Composite Propellers (Part on Manufacturing/Product Inspection) on August 31.

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.5122 sec (2 req/sec)