SEATTLE — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Sea Lion, while on patrol in the Strait of Juan De Fuca east of Port Angeles, terminated the voyage of a fishing vessel for safety gear concerns found during an at-sea boarding Thursday.
The three member crew, harvesting geoducks, aboard the 34-foot fishing vessel Equalizer was safely escorted to Port Angeles, where the vessel was ordered to remain until the crew fixed the especially hazardous safety condition of lacking a sufficient number of personal flotation devices also known as lifejackets and having expired flares. This is the second fishing vessel is as many days to be found without sufficient lifejackets aboard.
“Carrying required survival equipment aboard your commercial vessel is not optional and may be life threatening to your crew.” said Lt. Cmdr. Libby Rasmussen, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound. “Being turned around at sea costs fishing crews time and can be avoided by being compliant with current regulations. We offer free vessel safety examinations where we will come to your boat to check that it meets all applicable rules and regulations prior to getting underway. A Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Decal is awarded for those meeting the safety standards.”
Passing a Coast Guard fishing vessel safety examination will become mandatory Oct. 15. Any fishing vessel crew operating beyond three miles off shore will need to complete their safety examination and receive a commercial fishing vessel safety decal, which should be displayed on the vessel.
Due to the upcoming mandatory examination date, fishing vessel crews are encouraged to stling their examinations now. For inspections along central Washington Coast and the Puget Sound, contact Robert Cuddeback at 206-217-6187. For inspections along the Oregon coast from Brookings to Westport, Washington, contact Curt Farrell at 503-240-9373.
The crew of the Sea Lion, a 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Bellingham, Washington.