Deck Watch discusses new commercial fishing safety regulations

Chief Petty Officer Kevinn Smith, the office- in-charge of Coast Guard Station Ketchikan, inspects a life raft during a commercial fishing vessel safety boarding near Sitka March 26, 2012. Station personnel regularly conduct boarding to ensure mariners are operating in compliance with all federal and state regulations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

Chief Petty Officer Kevinn Smith, the office- in-charge of Coast Guard Station Ketchikan, inspects a life raft during a commercial fishing vessel safety boarding near Sitka March 26, 2012. Station personnel regularly conduct boarding to ensure mariners are operating in compliance with all federal and state regulations. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

This week Deck Watch’s Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst spoke with Ken Lawrenson, 17th District commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator, about upcoming changes to the regulations for commercial the commercial fishing vessel fleet that begin to take effect Oct. 16 as a result of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. To listen click here. 

In other Coast Guard news: 

Aug. 27 – Coast Guard inspectors from Sector Anchorage conducted bulk oil facility inspections in Nome and five northern villages Aug. 27 – Sep. 2. The week-long inspections to 20 bulk oil facilities included site visits to Nome and the five remote villages of Brevig Mission, Wales, Golovin, Elim and Koyuk. Personnel from Sector Anchorage are working with facilities where deficiencies were discovered to make corrections and to ensure they comply with federal regulations. While in Nome the inspectors also conducted a government-initiated, unannounced exercise, at the Bonanza Fuel Inc. facility. The exercise, which was conducted in accordance with the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program guidelines, was designed to test the facilities oil pollution response plan and their capabilities to respond. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage is responsible for ensuring the 450 maritime facilities throughout North, Western and South Central Alaska meet federal guidelines. Inspectors deploy throughout the state year-around to work with the facilities and confirm they meeting these standards. All facilities which are capable of transferring oil or hazardous materials, in bulk, to or from a vessel, where the vessel has a total capacity of 250 barrels or more are subject to Coast Guard inspections.

Aug. 31 – The Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing crewmember from the 58-foot fishing vessel Advantage near Kodiak Island Friday at 8:40 p.m. The search, which lasted more than 18 hours and covered an area approximately 1,400 square miles began shortly after 12 a.m. Friday when Coast Guard watchstanders in Juneau received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert from the vessel. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak was dispatched to the scene and hoisted three crewmembers from a life raft and transported them to Kodiak for medical treatment. The Advantage crewmembers confirmed that one person was still missing. Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter and HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrews took turns searching the area throughout the day but were unable to locate the missing crewmember. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends during this difficult time. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the sinking.

Sep. 6 – Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Dutch Harbor personnel responded to a report of a vessel sinking in Unalaska Bay Thursday. Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders received the report that the 68-foot landing craft Joshua had begun to sink at its mooring at approximately 10 a.m., and directed MSD investigators to respond. After arriving on scene, MSD personnel met with the vessel’s owner and determined that approximately 10 gallons of diesel fuel had been discharged while it was sinking. The responsible party deployed a containment boom around the vessel and had divers secure fuel vents to minimize environmental impact.  MSD personnel are continuing to work with the responsible party, and monitor efforts to refloat the vessel Friday. The cause of the sinking is under investigation.

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