Deck Watch learns about international efforts to curb illegal fishing

NPAFC Convention Area

The NPAFC Convention Area. The waters of the North Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas, north of 33 degrees North Latitude beyond 200-miles zones of the coastal States.

Cmdr. Chris Barrows, deputy chief of enforcement, Coast Guard 17th District, discusses Operation Drift Net and the Coast Guard efforts to curb high seas drift net fishing in the Pacific Ocean Oct. 11  from his office in Juneau, Alaska. Deck Watch is a weekly five to seven minute radio program covering Coast Guard news and operations throughout Alaska. Click here to listen to the show.

In other Coast Guard news:

Oct. 5 – A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, at forward operating location Barrow, medevaced a 41-year-old man suffering from heart attack symptoms Oct. 5, approximately 154 miles west of Barrow. The Coast Guard helicopter crew safely hoisted the distressed mariner and transferred him to awaiting medical services personnel in Barrow at approximately 9:45 a.m. A Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstander received a report that a crewmember aboard the Harvey Spirit, a 245-foot Shell offshore supply vessel, was suffering from heart attack symptoms and needed assistance. The command center launched the Coast Guard helicopter crew and alerted the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf to provide support. The helicopter crew arrived on scene with the Harvey Spirit at 8:40 a.m., safely hoisted the crewmember and transferred him to Barrow to an awaiting medical flight crew to be flown to Anchorage for further medical care.

Oct. 10 – A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from forward operating location Cordova rescued two men from their 28-foot pleasure craft that ran aground in Day Harbor near Resurrection Bay Tuesday. The helicopter crew hoisted the two men from the vessel, Baby Jane, at approximately 5:50 p.m., and took them 17 miles north to Seward. There were no reported injuries. The case began at approximately 3:30 p.m. when watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage were notified by the operator of the vessel that they were being forced toward the rocky shore by the weather and required assistance. The watchstanders directed the launch of the helicopter a short time later. The weather at the time of the grounding was reported as 17 to 28 mph winds with 3-foot seas.

Oct. 10 – Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a call from the master of the 32-foot fishing vessel Miss Sally reporting they were disabled in Naha Bay with two people aboard Wednesday. The master stated they were not in distress; however there was no answer to Sector Juneau’s marine assistance request broadcast. Sector Juneau launched a Station Ketchikan 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew to assist. The boat crew arrived on scene took the vessel in tow and returned safely to Ketchikan.

Oct. 10 – The Alaska State Troopers contacted Coast Guard Sector Juneau Wednesday to request assistance in a search for an overdue 46-year-old hiker. The search took place between Thane near Juneau and Pt. Salisbury on the Bishop’s Point trail. Watchstanders directed the launch of a Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat – Medium to conduct a shoreline search. The hiker saw the Coast Guard RB-M and fired a gun into the air. The shot was reported to the Alaska State Troopers and the hiker was located along the trail suffering from an injured ankle. He was assisted back to Thane by the Sea Dogs.

Oct. 10 – Coast Guard Air Station Sitka personnel and local authorities are investigating a boiler incident Wednesday in the air station’s main hangar. Air station personnel contacted the Sitka police and fire departments at 12:30 p.m. to report a biomass boiler explosion in their main hangar. One civilian contractor was injured during the incident and was transported by local EMS to the hospital. The boiler system that exploded is out of commission and the other two biomass boilers have been shut down pending the results of the investigation. Air Station personnel are conducting a damage assessment to ensure there are no safety issues. Air Station Sitka is the first unit in the Coast Guard 17th District to convert to a biomass system, which burns wood pellets instead of fuel oil.

Oct. 11 – A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued five fishermen from a beach on Sitkinak Island after their fishing vessel started taking on water Thursday morning. The five fishermen donned their survival suits and abandoned their 58-foot fishing vessel, the Kodiak Isle, by entering their life raft which then drifted ashore. The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 2 a.m., spotted a flare from the fishermen, and safely hoisted the five men who were transferred to Kodiak with no reported injuries. The case began at approximately 12:07 a.m. when watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a report from the fishermen stating their vessel had hit a rock and was taking on water. The watchstanders immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of the helicopter crew a short time later. The Kodiak Isle was reportedly carrying approximately 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of the incident. The Coast Guard plans to conduct a flyover of the area Thursday, to attempt to locate the vessel and assess any pollution concerns. The vessel was reported to still be afloat at 2:30 a.m. when the rescue crew departed the scene with the survivors. The weather, as reported by a nearby weather buoy, at the time of the incident was 10 to 20 mph winds with 10-foot seas. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

Oct. 11 – Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak is received a heroism award Thursday at the 32nd annual Coast Guard Foundation Dinner in New York City. Air Station Kodiak personnel are being honored for rescuing the crews of the fishing vessel Heritage and the fishing vessel Kimberly in hurricane force winds, 20-foot seas, snow and heavy icing Jan. 24. Four Coast Guard helicopters, three Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplanes and the good Samaritan fishing vessel Tuxedni were responsible for the rescues. Al Roker, producer of the popular show Coast Guard Alaska, hosted the event.

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