Veteran Foss employee killed in tug accident
Piper Cameron, a six-year veteran of the Foss Maritime Co., died from injuries received during a tug accident off Marina del Ray Tuesday afternoon.
The tug crew, U.S. Coast Guard, and other rescuers successfully evacuated the severely injured deck hand off the tug and moved her to an ambulance. According to a company statement, Cameron survived what the company called 'an incident' and died en route to Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital. Located about 20 miles west of downtown Los Angeles on Santa Monica Bay, Marina Del Rey is the largest man-made small boat harbor in the world and home to about 7,000 pleasure boats and yachts.
'We're still in shock. Piper was everyone's favorite. We have lost a good friend. We've all been deeply affected by this,' said Dave Selga, manager of terminal services at Foss Maritime, in the statement.
Coast Guard and L.A. County Sheriffs Department investigators are working with Foss to determine the cause of the incident, which involved one of the company's tugs, the 'Emma Foss,' and a barge.
Selga said in the statement that the company is unclear what occurred during the incident.
The other injured crewmember, Scott Dekraai, 38, was also evacuated from the vessel and moved to Harbor General Hospital in San Pedro. His injuries are reported to be serious but 'non-life threatening,' according to Selga.
Cameron, 26, of Huntington Beach joined the company as a deckhand in 2001. According to Selga, she was very experienced in her job and popular with everyone at the Long Beach operation.
He said the company has brought in professional grief counselors to help employees and their families to work through the tragedy.
Foss Maritime is based in Seattle and operates a fleet of tugs and barges throughout the West Coast, including Los Angeles-Long Beach.