National Fisherman

Drill to stay dry

From U.S. Coast Guard reports

As the skipper of a 44-foot dragger headed back to Maine after a four-day pollock trip, the two crewmen were on deck gutting and cutting.

At about 10 p.m., the skipper noticed a subtle change in the sound of the main engine and that the vessel was slowing down. He discovered flooding in the engine room, but didn't know the source.

Almost simultaneously the crewmen realized they were ankle deep in water. The skipper instructed one crewman to start dumping gear to lighten the boat.

Meanwhile, the skipper and the other crewman attempted to dewater the boat using the built-in bilge pumps and a large-volume bilge eductor. The pumps couldn't keep up.

He gathered the crew in the wheelhouse; they donned survival suits, issued a mayday call and activated the EPIRB. The crewmen pulled the raft from atop the wheelhouse and grabbed the flare kit. The skipper took the boat out of gear.

Once everyone was back aft, they threw the raft overboard. The dragger was listing to starboard. At about 10:20, they jumped in the raft. As they paddled away, their boat stood up on her beam-ends and rolled over.

A Coast Guard helicopter arrived 25 minutes later and hoisted all three survivors. None required medical care.

Lessons learned
Based on the skipper's description, the flooding source was likely a failed propulsion shaft seal.

The alarm panel was located outside the wheelhouse in a forward companionway. The skipper didn't receive any early indication of flooding and surmised that the audible alarm may have been switched to silent mode. If the panel had been inside the wheelhouse, the skipper could have seen the alarms.

At a minimum, check the engine room bilges, the lazarette and shaft alley. Also, make sure your vessel has adequate dewatering capability.

Crew members indicated they routinely held discussions on emergency situations. They conducted full drills periodically, and were familiar with the vessel's layout and equipment. Their training, hands-on practice and knowledge of their survival gear were critical factors in their survival. Fish safe!

This article is based on U.S. Coast Guard reporting and is intended to bring safety issues to the attention of our readers. It is not intended to judge or reach conclusions regarding the ability or capacity of any person, living or dead, or any boat or piece of equipment.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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