Foss Maritime Company Mourns Loss of Co-Worker in Offshore Accident

Foss Maritime Company employees are receiving grief counseling following the death of a tugboat crew member. The accident occurred off the coast of southern California on the morning of February 20. Foss spokesman Sam Sacco told MarEx today that the incident involved a tow line on the tug “Emma Foss,” during the transfer of a towed barge from tug to another. What occurred during the routine procedure, performed many times before by the crew, is still being investigated.

According to a Foss press release, a second crew member was also injured in the incident. The US Coast Guard, together with the tug crew and others, evacuated both crew members ashore into waiting ambulances, but Piper Cameron, a deckhand, succumbed to her injuries enroute to a local hospital. The other employee is said to be recovering from “non-life threatening” injuries at a local hospital, according to a Foss spokesperson. Additionally, an autopsy is planned for the deceased crew member today.

Sacco also told MarEx that every crew member of the barge and the two tug boats had been interviewed by the Coast Guard. As MarEx went on line with this edition, the “Emma Foss” was berth in Long Beach, CA.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the L.A. County Sheriffs Department are investigating the incident. Foss is providing full cooperation with the authorities on the matter and has brought in grief counselors to assist employees and their families in dealing with the tragedy. Based in Seattle, Foss Maritime Company operates a fleet of tugs and barges throughout the West Coast, including Los Angeles/Long Beach and has recently expanded their operations to the port of Boston, MA.