Man Dies After Two Fishing Vessels Collide 30 Miles West of La Push, Washington

Last month, two fishing boats reportedly collided in dense fog about 30 miles west of La Push, Washington. According to United States Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Denning, a 40-foot fishing vessel, the Maverick, was adrift in heavy fog when it was struck on the side by a 90-foot fishing boat named the Viking Storm. Denning stated the Maverick immediately began taking on water and quickly sunk. Although three of the four crew members aboard the Maverick escaped the sinking vessel, 32-year-old Kelly Dickerson of Port Angeles was reportedly trapped in a room near the bow of the ship. He is presumed dead.

The Maverick reportedly sank so quickly the surviving crew members were required to abandon ship without life jackets or survival gear. Denning said the three fishermen were pulled from the water by crew members aboard the larger boat. He also stated the Maverick began emitting an emergency beacon signal at about the same time the crew aboard the Viking Storm reported the accident. The three surviving Maverick crew members were reportedly in good condition following the incident.

The Viking Storm was allegedly travelling to Grays Harbor with about 130 tons of fish on board when the crash occurred. According to Denning, the Canadian boat was moving through the water at about 10 miles per hour. The vessel did not take on water following the accident. At the time of the incident, the Seattle-based Maverick was carrying an estimated 1,800 pounds of fish. Both vessels allegedly had working radar equipment installed at the time of the fatal collision.

The exact cause of the deadly accident is currently under investigation by the Coast Guard and Canadian officials. According to Denning, the inquiry could take several months to complete. He stated the collision qualified as a "serious marine incident" due to the fisherman's death and the amount of property lost. Investigators reportedly tested crew members aboard both fishing boats for alcohol and drugs. Additionally, Denning stated the navigation equipment installed on the Viking Storm was being examined. It is unclear whether civil penalties or criminal sanctions will be levied as a result of the tragedy.

Making your living as a fisherman can be tough. As a seaman injured in a commercial fishing accident, you are entitled to receive maintenance, cure, and unearned wages. Injuries can be physical and psychological (fear, nightmares, etc.), or both You may also be eligible to receive additional wage compensation following an accident at sea. If you were injured or a loved one was killed while employed on a commercial fishing boat, a maritime lawyer at Seattle Maritime Lawyers can explain your options for recovery and help you file your claim.

Contact Seattle Maritime Attorneys John Merriam and Gordon Webb if you were hurt while working at sea. Our skilled La Push commercial fishing injury attorneys have nearly 50 years of combined experience helping those who were hurt while working at sea receive the financial compensation that their injuries merit. Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webb handle maritime injury cases that originated throughout the world including the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Bering Sea. To discuss your case with a dedicated maritime lawyer today, please call attorneys John Merriam and Gordon Webb toll free at (877) 800-1007 or contact us through the law firm's website.

Additional Resources:

Coast Guard Investigating Deadly Boat Crash Near La Push, seattle.cbslocal.com

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