Coast Guard inspectors with the Marine Safety Task Force (MSTF) returned to Anchorage June 25 after a two-week deployment to Bristol Bay, conducting missions in support of the region’s commercial fishing season.
Coast Guard law enforcement teams from Marine Safety and Security Team San Francisco 91105 and Coast Guard Cutter Hickory conducted safety boardings, commercial fishing vessel boardings, and enforced maritime laws in the region.
Inspectors conducted 370 dockside exams of commercial fishing vessels in multiple communities within the region, including King Salmon, Dillingham, Naknek, South Naknek, Pilot Point, Ugashik, Platinum, Port Heiden, Levelock and Egegik. The exams focused on safety and addressed items such as flares, charts, navigational signals, fire extinguishers, and emergency position indicating radio beacons. Three hundred thirty-three decals were issued to vessels that passed their dockside exams. MSTF members also inspected 14 facilities.
“The most common deficiencies from this deployment were the serviceability of immersion suits, flares, fire extinguishers and certificates of documentation,” said Russ Hazlett, fishing vessel safety examiner from Sector Anchorage.
Inspectors relied heavily on the Civil Air Patrol and Alaska Army National Guard for transportation during this deployment. An Alaska Army National Guard aircrew flew MSTF members aboard a C-12J Huron aircraft to Dillingham and King Salmon where they conducted commercial fishing vessel exams and facility inspections. From those hub communities, the Air Force Auxiliary’s Civil Air Patrol flew members to conduct exams and inspections in more remote communities and villages.
Each Coast Guard member was tested for COVID-19 before deploying, followed by appropriate quarantine procedures. Inspectors wore protective equipment in accordance with state health mandates and practiced social distancing.