CUTTER COMMANDING OFFICER TEMPORARILY RELIEVED OF DUTY
The U.S. Coast Guard released results of an investigation into the Jan. 31 crane accident in the Coast Guard buoy yard in Homer, which resulted in the death of Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski.
“The investigation found improper operation of the shoreside crane was the direct cause of the mishap. The investigation further revealed leadership deficiencies aboard the Cutter Hickory which contributed to inadequate crewmember training and complacency with shoreside operations.
Kozloski was from from Mahopac, New York, and was working in the Coast Guard buoy yard when the crane fell on him and pinned him. Medics performed CPR but he was pronounced dead after being transported to South Peninsula Hospital. He was 35 and had served in the Coast Guard for 17 years.
“Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, temporarily relieved the commanding officer of Homer-based Cutter Hickory citing a loss of confidence in the officer’s ability to perform his duties.
“Command positions overseeing Coast Guard units, such as the Cutter Hickory, are among the most important and challenging assignments in our service,” said Bell. “Commanding officers are entrusted with tremendous authority and responsibility to ensure operational success, good order and discipline, and crew safety.”
A formal review of the commanding officer will follow.
“We are continuing to review the results of the investigation, which identified causative factors that will help us prevent future incidents,” said Vice Adm. Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, who convened the major incident investigation. “The Coast Guard is committed to the professional operation of our units and the safety of our members and the American public.