Thirteenth Coast Guard District commander to inspect vessels during Operation Safe Crab

ASTORIA, Ore. – Rear Adm. Gary Blore, Thirteenth Coast Guard District Commander, is scheduled to be at the Warrenton Marina in Warrenton, Ore., Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to participate in inspections of commercial fishing vessels before the beginning of the Dungeness crab fishing season.

These safety spot checks and voluntary dockside exams are part of Operation Safe Crab, the Coast Guard’s continuing initiative to reduce the number of fisherman’s lives lost at sea. Commercial Dungeness crabbing vessels operate in some of the winter’s worst weather, in hazardous waters, and have the highest fatality rate of any West Coast fishery.

Coast Guard examiners will check for watertight integrity, primary lifesaving equipment and review pot loading practices on vessels while in port. These spot checks include looking over survival suits, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs,) and liferafts to ensure that these critical safety items are ready for use should an emergency occur at sea.

Similar safety checks in previous years found that between one-quarter and one-third of EPIRBs and liferafts are installed improperly. Most of these deficiencies are easy to correct. Fishermen are advised that extremely serious discrepancies, such as overloading, lack of watertight integrity, missing primary lifesaving equipment, or non-functioning EPIRBs may result in a vessel being restricted from operating until the problems are corrected.

In addition to the checks, Coast Guard fishing vessel safety personnel will be available to conduct basic safety training as well as voluntary dockside safety examinations for interested vessels.

For information regarding Operation Safe Crab or availability of voluntary dockside exams please call Curt Farrell, Commercial Fishing Vessel Coordinator, Coast Guard Sector Portland, at (503) 240-9373 or e-mail curtis.j.farrell@uscg.mil.

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