USCGC Hickory Investigation

The commanding officer of Homer, Alaska-based US Coast Guard Cutter Hickory has been temporarily relieved of his command following this month’s release of an investigation into a fatal crane accident in a Coast Guard buoy yard Jan. 31.

According to the agency, the investigation found improper operation of the shoreside crane that caused the death of Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski and “leadership deficiencies aboard the Cutter Hickory, which contributed to inadequate crewmember training and complacency with shoreside operations.” “Command positions overseeing Coast Guard units, such as the Cutter Hickory, are among the most important and challenging assignments in our service,” said Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., commander of the 17th Coast Guard District. “Commanding officers are entrusted with tremendous authority and responsibility to ensure operational success, good order and discipline, and crew safety.” The temporary administrative action will be followed with a formal review from Coast Guard Headquarters.

“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.”

To view the results of the investigation, visit:

By Karen Robes Meeks