Coast Guard Publishes Final Action Memo

U.S. Coast Guard
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A damaged hoist cable and the inability to find equipment needed to repair the fraying cable are the two causal factors in the Coast Guard’s unsuccessful rescue of an injured crewmember off the sailing vessel Freefall during heavy weather Oct. 28, 2008, according to a Coast Guard final action memo released Wednesday.
 

The memo directs 12 actions including reviewing existing policies, checklists, and maintenance and gear stowage procedures related to aircraft search and rescue mission preparation; determining the feasibility of equipping the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter with cable chaffing guards in critical areas when right external fuel tanks are installed;  and, evaluating the emergency rescue device for effectiveness in heavy weather hoisting operations.
 

The purpose of the investigation was to identify and better understand the factors that led to the unsuccessful rescue and what can be done to prevent future mishaps. “The crew of CG 6003 attempted to prosecute this search and rescue case in the most hazardous conditions,” wrote Vice Adm. Sally Brice O’Hara, Coast Guard vice commandant.  “The tragic loss of Freefall’s crewmember reminds us that we must continue to diligently commit and direct our efforts to perform operations as safely and effectively as possible.”


The 5th Coast Guard District command center received an emergency position indicating radio beacon signal from the sailing vessel Freefall the evening of Oct. 28, 2008.  Subsequent reports indicated the vessel had rolled, de-masted and begun to flood, but flooding had been stabilized.  The Freefall’s owner requested that he and his crew of two, which included a man who had been injured, be removed from the vessel.
 

The crew of the Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter CG 6003 launched from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.  On scene weather conditions consisted of 40-knot winds with gusts up to 50-knots, 20- to 40-foot waves, and low visibility.
Based on the condition of the vessel and weather conditions, the pilot decided to deploy the rescue swimmer to begin hoisting the crew from the vessel.  Once aboard the Freefall, the rescue swimmer learned the injured male crewmember was ambulatory and decided to hoist the survivor from the water.
 

After multiple attempts to hoist the injured crewmember, a section of hoist cable was damaged, precluding further use without repair.  The flight mechanic cut the cable, intending to splice it, but was unable to locate the device necessary to make the repair.
 

CG 6003 used the last remaining hoist option, the Emergency Rescue Device.  While the Emergency Rescue Device was being rigged for use, CG 6003 deployed a life raft which the rescue swimmer recovered.  The rescue swimmer then placed the injured crewman into the the life raft.   The Emergency Rescue Device was lowered, the rescue swimmer attached it to his harness and maintained his grip on the crewmember, but the rescue swimmer was pulled violently through strong waves numerous times and was eventually separated from the injured crewmember.
 

The rescue swimmer, who was injured during the rescue attempt, was hoisted into CG 6003 without the Freefall crewmember.  Without any further means to rescue the injured Freefall crewmember, the CG-6003 returned to base.  A Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft dropped a life raft for the injured crewmember, but he was never seen getting into it.
 

When recovered from the water approximately four hours later by an Air Station Cape Cod helicopter crew, the injured Freefall crewman was unresponsive.  He was later pronounced dead.
 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Casualties

USCG Monitoring Barge adrift in Beaufort Sea

U.S. Coast Guard personnel and Canadian federal agencies, including the Canadian coast guard, Transport Canada and Environment Canada, are monitoring a 134-foot

Three Dead in Offshore Platform Accident

Three workers were killed and one is still missing after an accident at one of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, Azeri state energy company SOCAR said on Thursday.

Documentary Examines Shipbreaking Practices in Bangladesh

Toxic ships for Bangladesh: TV documentary on German ship owners and their shipbreaking practices A new documentary titled "Giftiger Tankerschrott für Bangladesch

Coast Guard

USCG Monitoring Barge adrift in Beaufort Sea

U.S. Coast Guard personnel and Canadian federal agencies, including the Canadian coast guard, Transport Canada and Environment Canada, are monitoring a 134-foot

EUCAP Nestor Train 30 Somali Coast Guards

On 21 October, the European Union’s Maritime Capacity Building Mission in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Nestor) celebrated the successful completion of a two month Mentoring,

Video: USCG Medevacs Navy Sailor off Virginia

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) medevaced a man Wednesday from a Navy vessel off the Virginia coast after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth

Maritime Safety

UN: Ship Inspections near Somalia for Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

Liebherr to Deliver RTGs to Mayotte and Manila

Liebherr confirms orders for variable speed RTGs and electric RTGs. DPWorld Asian Terminals Inc. has placed an order with Liebherr Container Cranes for a further 5 RTGs at its Manila facility.

U.S. Navy Contracts 12 Rapid Response Skimmers

Kvichak Marine won a US Navy contract for 12 30-ft.Rapid Response Skimmers (RRS) for delivery over the next 18 months, with options for up to 30 additional skimmers to be delivered through 2019.

People in the News

Total CEO Plane Crash: Russian Prosecutors Detain More Suspects

Russian prosecutors detained four Moscow airport workers and denied bail to the driver of a snow plough which hit a private jet killing the CEO of French oil company Total earlier this week,

Chief of Naval Personnel Visits Naval Special Warfare

Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP) Vice Adm. Bill Moran visited Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Sailors during an all hands call on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Oct.

EUCAP Nestor Train 30 Somali Coast Guards

On 21 October, the European Union’s Maritime Capacity Building Mission in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Nestor) celebrated the successful completion of a two month Mentoring,

Government Update

MARAD Seeks Comments on Proposed Policy for Deepwater Export Applications

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is seeking comments on the agency’s proposed policy to accept, evaluate and process license applications for the construction

Oil Drillers Group to Fight U.S. Export Ban

More than a dozen U.S. oil producers have joined to lobby the federal government to reverse the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude exports, a move that supporters hope

UN: Ship Inspections near Somalia for Arms, Charcoal

The United Nations Security Council authorized the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1697 sec (6 req/sec)