New York Clam Boat Haul Sickens Crew

One broke open and released an unidentified chemical that caused two crew members to blister and struggle to breathe.


 
 

Associated Press Financial Wire | | Wednesday, June 9, 2010


BOSTON - A fishing boat dredging for clams off New York's Long Island pulled up 10 canisters, including one that broke open and released an unidentified chemical that caused two crew members to blister and struggle to breathe, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday.

The ESS Pursuit took the sickened crew members back to its New Bedford, Mass., port, where emergency medical workers rushed them to St. Luke's Hospital on Monday morning.

One was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital for further treatment after his condition worsened, Fire Chief Brian Faria said. The other was released in the afternoon, St. Luke's Hospital spokeswoman Joyce Brennan said.

The crew of six caught the canisters in their nets Sunday about 45 miles south of Long Island but dumped them back into the ocean when one crew member began developing blisters. It was several hours after he had been exposed to the contents of the container that had broken open, Coast Guard spokesman Jeff Hall said.

The vessel returned to New Bedford at about 4 a.m. Monday to drop off the sickened crew member for treatment before heading back to sea with the remaining five crew members, Faria said. But a second crew member reported feeling lightheaded, and the boat brought him back to the port at about 9:30 a.m. before going back out, he said.

After learning of the incident, the Coast Guard issued a "captain of the port order," a rare command instructing the boat to return to port.

The vessel was anchored south of New Bedford under quarantine Monday evening as members of the National Guard's hazardous material and a Rhode Island-based firefighting unit prepared to investigate and decontaminate it if necessary.

The National Marine Fisheries Service and the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture have been notified and are investigating whether the boat's catch, which was sold Monday in New Bedford, was contaminated, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Authorities were able to track down the catch and are holding it until the investigation is complete.

It was not immediately clear what chemical was involved and experts were trying to determine its nature, Hall said.

He declined to confirm comments he made earlier to the Standard Times of New Bedford that hospital workers and Emergency Medical Service technicians had reported that the crew may have been exposed to mustard agent, an oily liquid first used in World War I that can cause massive breakouts of blisters on contact and can be deadly if inhaled.

Brennan of St. Luke's Hospital said the information did not come from its doctors and cautioned against relying on diagnosis by emergency medical technicians who may not have had enough time to study the patients and their symptoms.

The Coast Guard plans to work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make sure the area where the hazardous containers were found is clearly marked, according to a statement.

Officials are also trying to find the 10 discarded canisters.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, hazmat

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >