Coast Guard stops three commercial fishing voyages for safety violations

d13SEATTLE — Three commercial fishing vessels operating throughout Puget Sound were ordered to return to port Wednesday after Coast Guard boarding teams discovered multiple safety violations.

Following the boardings, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Sector Puget Sound sent the three crews back to port to correct deficiencies and complete a satisfactory dockside safety examination with Coast Guard personnel.

In the first instance, a boarding team from Coast Guard Cutter Osprey reported several safety discrepancies on the 27-foot commercial fishing vessel Wendy Sue, including insufficient fire extinguishers, no documentation and no sound-producing device.

While conducting ship-rider operations with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a boarding team from Sector Puget Sound cited a commercial fishing vessel in Semiahmoo Bay for having insufficient fire extinguishers on board and insufficient visual distress signals.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish requested the third termination after boarding a commercial fishing vessel near Edmonds that reportedly had no personal floatation devices, an insufficient number of fire extinguishers, insufficient visual distress signals and no registration on board.

“With more winter storms headed our way, room for error at sea is reduced,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Dean, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. “Fishermen must be ready for an emergency and have the equipment necessary to save their lives.”

Safety requirements for commercial fishing vessels vary depending on the size of the vessel and crew and the area of operation. Commercial vessel owners can find out what safety equipment they need on board by using the commercial fishing vessel safety checklist generator available at

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