Coast Guard Cutter Petrel crew terminates unsafe fishing vessel voyage, tows to port

Pacific Southwest Coast Guard News
SAN DIEGO — A U.S. Coast Guard cutter crew terminated the unsafe voyage of a commercial fishing vessel with two people aboard near Northwest Harbor off San Clemente Island, Tuesday.

A Coast Guard Cutter Petrel boarding team terminated the voyage after they arrived on scene to assist the 28-foot lobster boat High Life that had been disabled for two days due to an electrical problem and discovered the vessel lacked required life-saving and safety equipment.

The High Life was inside a safety zone where the U.S. Navy performs live fire exercises, did not have a life raft or a throwable floatation device aboard and was missing a fire extinguisher. The boat also had no working means of communication.

Prior to the cutter’s arrival, another mariner aboard the vessel Cat Dive attempted to jump start the High Life, but they were unable to restart the engine. The Cat Dive also provided communications to a commercial marine assistance company.

After terminating the boat’s voyage for safety reasons, the San Diego-based Petrel crew towed the lobster boat to Avalon harbor where the High Life crew intend to correct their discrepancies.

The 87-foot Petrel routinely conducts safety boardings of recreational and commercial fishing boats to ensure compliance with U.S. regulations implemented to ensure safety at sea.

To reduce fatalities in the commercial fishing industry the Coast Guard performs at-sea boardings as well as free, “no fault” dockside examinations. The dockside exams are conducted nationwide by Coast Guard marine inspectors trained to ensure vessels are safe and in compliance with the safety regulations.

Vessels that undergo and successfully complete a dockside exam have a decal placed on the vessel, which may reduce the chances of a vessel boarding and greatly reduce the at-sea boarding procedure if it does occur.

For more information on the Coast Guard’s Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Program or to schedule a free exam visit http://www.fishsafe.info.  You may also call a regional fishing vessel safety examiner at:

San Diego (619) 278-7249

Los Angeles/Long Beach (310) 521-3744

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