Casualties Newsletter December 2021

Reminder: New digital newsletter launching in January

Professional Mariner is updating its newsletter format starting in the New Year. Instead of three themed newsletters a month, we will publish one newsletter each week containing a roundup of the most compelling news from the past week. In other words, the monthly Casualties Newsletter is going away.

But the content that populated our themed newsletters will be included in the weekly news roundups, which will be published each Tuesday at noon, instead of each Thursday.

We expect this newsletter update will improve these products, which are respected within the industry and favorites of our advertisers.

So, with that, I hope you enjoy this final iteration of the Casualties Newsletter. Please check back next month to see our updated newsletter format.


Coast Guard app allows for confidential reports of sexual harassment, assault

The U.S. Coast Guard has established a website and mobile app that will allow victims of sexual harassment or abuse on a ship to report it confidentially. Reports can be made anonymously or with attribution.

It also will allow anyone who witnesses these crimes to document them. The Coast Guard says it will respond to these reports with trained investigators.

Punishment for mariners found to have committed these acts will range from criminal prosecution to action against their license.

Click here for more information, or to download the mobile app.


NTSB releases findings into fatal dredge incident 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its findings into the August 2020 explosion on the U.S-flagged dredge Waymon L. Boyd near Corpus Christi, Texas. 

The dredge hit a submerged pipeline, and the subsequent explosion killed three people, while a fourth crewmember later died. Five others were seriously hurt.  

The NTSB attributed the incident to failings by dredge company Orion Marine Group.  

For more details on the incident, the NTSB findings and recommendations that emerged from the investigation, click here.  


Casualty Flashback: December 1951 

Eleven people died when the Danish ship Erria caught fire while anchored in the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon.  

The combination passenger/cargo ship was preparing to get underway when the fire started at about 0130 on Dec. 21. Details on the cauase of the fire were not readily available, although some have attributed it to an electrical fault.  

The fire burned, largely between decks, for some time. Vessels with fire monitors actively sprayed the ship, and salvors dispensed CO2 and water to extinguish the flames. Extensive pumping was required to remove water from the listing ship. 

Multiple bodies were found on deck, presumably waiting for lifeboats to be lowered down.  

Erria was eventually towed to Europe and converted into a strictly cargo ship. It apparently made one return to the Columbia River, where it anchored in the exact spot as it did on the night it caught fire.  

More information on the fire and its response can be found here. 

By Casey Conley