Buoy Tender Crewmember Dies in Crane Accident

Buoy tender Hickory (USCG file image)

Published Feb 4, 2019 10:55 AM by The Maritime Executive

A crewmember of the Coast Guard buoy tender Hickory died last Thursday when a crane rolled over in a buoy yard outside of Homer, Alaska. The Coast Guard has identified the victim as Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski, 35, a resident of Mahopac, New York. 

Kozloski was working in the tender's storage yard on Monday afternoon, near Homer's Pioneer Dock. Photos from the scene show a mobile wheeled crane toppled over on its side on a gravel surface, its boom extended and its outriggers retracted. The local fire department and EMTs responded to the scene at about 1350 hours and transported the victim to a local hospital. 

An investigation is under way, and Kozloski's next of kin have been notified. 

“It’s with great sadness that we announce the passing of a devoted shipmate, husband and father following this tragic accident,” said Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., the commander of the Coast Guard's 17th District, in a statement to media. “Chief Warrant Officer Kozloski faithfully served his country for over 17 years and we are forever grateful for his steadfast devotion to duty and sacrifices,"

The Hickory is a 225-foot buoy tender based in Homer. She operates along the coast of Southeast Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, out to the far end of the Aleutian Chain and up to the furthest reach of the Kuskokwim River, the northernmost marked waterway in the United States.