Coast Guard inspectors returned to Anchorage Friday after a two-week deployment to Bristol Bay, conducting missions in support of the region’s commercial fishing season which opened June 22, 2022.
Inspectors conducted a total of 351 dockside examinations and issued 276 safety decals for commercial fishing vessels in communities throughout the Bristol Bay region.
Examiners addressed safety issues that were present, but did not issue fines or other penalties for any discrepancies they discovered at the dock. The exams focused on safety and addressed items such as flares, charts, navigational signals, fire extinguishers, emergency position indicating radio beacons and the serviceability of immersion suits. Each vessel that passed a dockside exam earned a decal.
From June 13 through 24, members of the task force removed 117 immersion suits from service because they were not in serviceable condition. Most vessel owners replaced the unserviceable suits with new ones.
“Our primary goal in providing this service to the fishing fleet is to promote safety and prevent loss of life at sea,” said Chief Petty Officer David Schaeffer, fishing vessel safety examiner from Sector Anchorage. “This is a preventative measure to ensure vessels have necessary life-saving equipment on board. They have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, so our job is to make sure they’re prepared before heading out to sea.”