Coast Guard Hightlights Fishing Vessel Safety in Prince William Sound

USCG Station Valdez 25-foot response boatVALDEZ, Alaska – Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez recently kicked off its 2011 voluntary dockside commercial fishing vessel safety examination and safety compliance spot check initiatives in an effort to advance safety within the commercial fishing vessel fleet.

Coast Guard examiners will be available in Cordova from April 22 through May 27, 2011 for all commercial fishing vessel operators that are interested in scheduling a free voluntary dockside CFV safety exam. In Valdez, examiners are available throughout the year.

Voluntary dockside CFV safety exams are no fault and non-adversarial, serving to encourage compliance and discourage unsafe operations. Vessels not passing an examination will be provided a list identifying deficiencies and items needed to be corrected for the vessel to be in full compliance with all applicable Federal Regulations. Successful completion of the exam results in issuance of a CFV safety decal.

In addition, safety compliance spot checks on vessels not currently enrolled in the voluntary dockside CFV safety program will be conducted. Safety compliance spot checks focus on primary lifesaving and firefighting equipment aboard commercial fishing vessels in port. These spot checks are aimed to ensure critical safety items are ready for use should an at-sea emergency occur. Vessels possessing current CFV safety decals will not be selected for safety compliance spot checks.

Vessels that receive a safety compliance spot check and are found to have a major safety violation will be restricted from commercial fishing operations until the discrepancy is corrected and verified by a Coast Guard examiner.

This outreach is part of the Seventeenth Coast Guard District’s initiative to reduce the number of lives and vessels lost at sea.

Any questions regarding this matter or requests for information on the voluntary dockside CFV safety examination program should be directed to Coast Guard MSU Valdez Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examiners, at (907) 255-8724 or (907) 835-7225.

Requests for information on the safety compliance spot checks should be directed to Chief Petty Officer Todd Walters at (907) 835-7235.

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