SEATTLE— A commercial fishing voyage was terminated near Anacortes after the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Sea Lion completed a routine boarding Wednesday and found multiple safety violations, including an inadequate number and size of life jackets on board.
Following the boarding, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Sector Puget Sound ordered the crew of the 30-foot crabbing vessel Malia to return to its homeport to correct deficiencies and remain until Coast Guard personnel conduct a satisfactory dockside safety examination.
The boarding team from the Sea Lion, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in Bellingham, reported the Malia did not have a throwable life ring or boat registration on board, only had one of the two fire extinguishers required for a vessel of its size and had one youth life jacket, rather than two adult life jackets required on board for a two-man crew.
“We understand that these fishermen are on the job and that a terminated voyage can mean a loss of income,” said Chief Petty Officer Duane Wiggin, boarding team member and executive petty officer of the Sea Lion. “But in an inherently dangerous occupation like crab fishing, this mission isn’t about writing tickets or sending people home; it’s about boating safety and saving lives.”
The crew of the Malia reported they had approximately 50 pounds of Dungeness crab on board.
Commercial fishing vessel operators can find out what safety equipment is required on their vessel by visiting fishsafewest.info.