December 11, 2013
U.S. Coast Guard personnel, as part of Operation Safe Crab, are available to conduct voluntary dockside exams prior to the opening of the Dungeness crab fishery in various Oregon and southwest Washington state ports this month.
“Dungeness season coincides with some of the most dangerous conditions we see on the Pacific Northwest Coast and every year the Coast Guard responds to numerous cases of fishing vessels in distress,” said Capt. Bruce Jones, Sector Columbia River commander. “Masters of fishing vessels owe it to their crews and families to take advantage of readily available Coast Guard safety inspections and training programs which, for many mariners, have meant the difference between life and death.”
Coast Guard examiners in previous years have found that between one-quarter and one-third of emergency position indicating radio beacons and life rafts are installed improperly on board commercial fishing vessels. Most of these deficiencies are easily corrected on the spot.
Fishermen are advised that extremely serious discrepancies, such as overloading, lack of watertight integrity, missing primary lifesaving equipment or nonfunctioning EPIRBs may result in a vessel being restricted from operating until the deficiencies are corrected.