Video – Coast Guard provides commercial fishing safety training

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ASTORIA, Ore. — Coast Guard personnel, as part of Operation Safe Crab, are available to conduct voluntary dockside exams prior to the opening of the Dungeness crab fishery in various Oregon and Southwest Washington state ports this month.

“Dungeness season coincides with some of the most dangerous conditions we see on the Pacific Northwest Coast and every year the Coast Guard responds to numerous cases of fishing vessels in distress,” said Capt. Bruce Jones, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River commander. “Masters of fishing vessels owe it to their crews and families to take advantage of readily available Coast Guard safety inspections and training programs which, for many mariners, have meant the difference between life and death.”

Coast Guard provides commercial fishing safety training in Garibaldi, Oregon

Curt Farrell (left), commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator for Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland, Ore., instructs fishermen on cold water survival during a commercial fishing vessel safety course in Garibaldi, Ore., Dec. 5, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn

Coast Guard examiners in previous years have found that between one-quarter and one-third of emergency position indicating radio beacons and life rafts are installed improperly on board commercial fishing vessels. Most of these deficiencies are easily corrected on-the-spot.

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 deficiencies are corrected.

In addition to examinations, Coast Guard fishing vessel safety personnel will be available to conduct basic safety training for interested crewmembers.

The offered examinations and training are part of the Coast Guard’s continuing effort to reduce the number of fishing-related lives lost at sea. Commercial Dungeness crabbing has the highest fatality rate of any West Coast fishery.

Voluntary dockside exam requests and questions regarding Operation Safe Crab should be directed to Curt Farrell, Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Coordinator, at 503-240-9373.

For additional pictures from the training, click on the photo.

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