Severe injuries result from incident aboard tanker near San Diego; 2 men need medevac


Two crewmen were airlifted off a tanker after being badly injured in an incident off the California coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release the two Russian mariners were injured on board the crude oil tanker Energy Conqueror when a cable split Jan. 18. However, the vessel operator denied that description of the incident.

A representative of Enterprises Shipping and Trading, the vessel owner based in Athens, Greece, said a cable split was not the cause of the injuries.

Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Medical technicians attend to one of the injured.

“We can confirm that no lines broke during the operation in question,” Dimitris Vergis, a claims executive for Enterprises Shipping, said in an e-mail. He refused to divulge further details.

The Isle of Man-flagged tanker was about 130 miles southwest of San Diego when the vessel called for medical aid from the U.S. Coast Guard at 0720. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, supported by Coast Guard cutter Active, performed the medevac and returned two injured crewmen to San Diego for transport to a local hospital.

The Coast Guard reported that one crewman, age 51, suffered severe lacerations, head injuries and possible internal injuries. The second man, a 55-year-old, suffered leg injuries. Both men were Russian citizens.

Their conditions were not available. In mid-February — a month after the accident — Vergis told Professional Mariner the company’s “current focus is ensuring that the crew receive the necessary medical care and that they get home safely.”

He declined further comment in March.

The Coast Guard did not conduct an investigation because the foreign-flag vessel was outside U.S. waters when the incident occurred and only rendered medical aid, according to Lt. John Downing, a spokesman for Sector San Diego.

The Isle of Man registry did not respond to requests for information regarding the incident.

Energy Conqueror was built in South Korea in 2004, with a displacement of 42,172 gross tons and a length of 748 feet.

By Professional Mariner Staff