Coast Guard sees safety violations decrease

BOSTON – The Coast Guard terminated 28 fishing vessel trips for noncompliance with safety regulations or maritime laws, a decrease from the 45 voyages terminated in 2006.

“Our intentions are to insure that those vessels with potential life-threatening deficiencies return to port and correct the problems,” said Ted Harrington, fishing vessel safety coordinator for the First Coast Guard District, Boston, Mass. “We want all fishermen to make it safely back to port every time and especially during this holiday season.”

The Coast Guard regularly boards commercial and recreational vessels to ensure compliance with safety regulations and maritime laws. In November 2007, the Coast Guard boarded 172 fishing vessels and conducted 52 dockside exams along the 2,000 miles of shoreline throughout the Northeast. Harrington said he hopes the decrease in voyage terminations indicate the efforts of the Northeastern fishing community to maintain safe boating practices while fishing commercially within maritime laws.

“While the numbers reflect a significant improvement in commercial vessel operations throughout the Northeast, the voyages we have terminated should not be overlooked,” said Harrington. “The cold waters and unpredictable weather of the winter North Atlantic are unforgiving and should not be underestimated.”

Contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary for a free, dock-side vessel safety check or visit http://www.safetyseal.net/.

The Coast Guard is the nation’s leading maritime law enforcement agency and is responsible for securing America’s more than 95,000 miles of coastline.

The multiple maritime enforcement missions of the Coast Guard include drug and migrant interdiction, environmental protection, search and rescue, boating safety and fisheries protection and enforcement.

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