Deck Watch learns about gold dredge safety in Nome

Coast Guard insepcts Nome gold dredge fleet

Coast Guard inspector David Borg, performs a voluntary gold dredge safety exam on board the Kentucky Goldenrod in Nome, Alaska, Aug. 3, 2012. Investing more than one hundred thousand dollars in building a gold dredge and transporting it to Nome, the Kentucky crew is hoping to find their fortune in the Bering Sea off of Nome. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley.

Early this month examiners from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage inspected the Nome-based gold dredge fleet in an effort to increase safety aboard these small vessels. This week Deck Watch talks with Lt. William Albright, who conducted many of the exams. To listen to the show click here.

In other Coast Guard news:

Aug. 2 – Searchers located the wreckage of a missing small plane in Southeast Alaska Thursday after several searches. Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report of a white and teal Piper Cherokee from Air Excursions, LLC. overdue on a flight from Juneau to Gustavus at approximately 9:17 a.m. Aug. 2, prompting a search of the region by a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka and a helicopter from Coastal Helicopters in Juneau. The Coastal helicopter located the wreckage at about 3 p.m. near Point Howard in the Tongass National Forest 23 miles west of Juneau. The Coast Guard rescue helicopter delivered a four-man Juneau Mountain Rescue team to the ground approximately one half mile from the crash site. Upon arrival to the crash site at about 4:24 p.m. they located the pilot of plane deceased. The Juneau Mountain Rescue team was returned to Juneau aboard the Coast Guard helicopter. Alaska State Troopers and Juneau Mountain Rescue were able to conduct recovery operations Saturday.

Aug. 4 – The District 17 command center was notified that the 46-foot sailing vessel Sitara was taking on water through a port wing fiberglass structure above the water line 130 miles east of Kodiak with two people aboard Friday. The onboard pumps were initially able to keep up with the leak until the rate of flow increased. The Coast Guard launched an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 helicopter crew who delivered two pumps. They also launched the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang from a port call at Kodiak. Mustang arrived on scene and delivered a third pump with a repair team after the two Air Station Kodiak pumps ceased to work. The most significant damage was 18-inch diameter hole above the water line that was patched with plywood. The Mustang crew safely escorted the Sitara to Kodiak arriving late Saturday.

Aug. 6 – Private aircraft spotted a hand held flare on the rocks at Mike Point just north of Helm Bay in Southeast Alaska Monday. The good Samaritan fishing vessel Ocean Pearl overheard the initial report of the grounding of a 19-foot pleasure craft and responded. The operator was rescued off his boat, which was hard aground on rocks in the vicinity of Mike Point, by the Ocean Pearl crew. Station Ketchikan launched a small boat and intercepted the Ocean Pearl to ascertain positive identification of the rescued man. He was identified as a person reported to be overdue on a voyage from Knudson Cove to Metlakatla aboard his 19-foot pleasure craft the previous day, prompting searches by the Coast Guard.

Aug. 6 – Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp gave testimony on the mission of the Coast Guard, the state of Coast Guard assets and operations and responsibilities in the Arctic during a Senate field hearing Monday at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak. The hearing was called by Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to discuss the needs of the Coast Guard and the nation in the emerging Arctic.

Aug. 6 – 7 – Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp and Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander District 17, hosted Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in Alaska Monday and Tuesday. Napolitano toured Base Kodiak Monday and addressed assembled Coast Guardsmen at Air Station Kodiak and visited the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf offshore of Cold Bay Tuesday.

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