Coast Guard Marine Safety Task Force (MSTF) members partnered with Alaska Army National Guard and Civil Air Patrol flight crews today in Anchorage for a Bristol Bay marine safety deployment in support of the region’s 2021 commercial salmon fishing season.
An Alaska Army National Guard aircrew flew Coast Guard members aboard a C-12J Huron aircraft from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to Dillingham and King Salmon where Coast Guard MSTF members will conduct commercial fishing vessel exams and facility inspections. From these hub communities, the Air Force Auxiliary’s Civil Air Patrol is flying MSTF members to conduct exams and inspections in more remote communities and villages.
“This is a team effort,” said Cmdr. Jereme Altendorf, an emergency management specialist at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage whose duties focus on Arctic issues. “We’re fortunate to be teaming up with the Alaska Army National Guard Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 641st Aviation Regiment for the very first time, and the Civil Air Patrol for the third year in a row. We’re relying on both of these tremendous partnerships for transportation around western Alaska and the Arctic. They are an invaluable part of this operation.”
To schedule a Coast Guard dockside exam in Dillingham, Egegik or King Salmon, June 14-25:
In Dillingham, call 907-538-4103 or 907-764-5071, Egegik call 907-538-8062, and King Salmon call 907-717-6270 or 907-538-9748.
The exams will address safety issues. The examiners will not issue fines or other penalties for any problems they discover at the dock or before launch. The exams address items such as flares, charts, navigational signals, fire extinguishers, emergency position indicating radio beacons and the serviceability of immersion suits. Vessels that pass an exam receive a decal that is good for two years. A properly displayed decal reduces the likelihood of a Coast Guard boarding at sea.
“These examinations are free and ensure compliance with all federal regulations,” said Russ Hazlett, fishing vessel safety examiner from Sector Anchorage. “But signing up for one could also save your life.”