Coast Guard encourages owners to prepare vessels for winter in Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska NewsKODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard 17th District encourages Alaskan mariners to winterize their vessels and to prevent excess snow from accumulating on moored vessels this winter.

Coast Guard personnel in Valdez and Juneau will be working with local harbormasters to patrol small boat harbors and identify boats in danger of sinking due to snow build up.

Preventative measures will be taken to prevent vessels from sinking but the vessel’s owner may be responsible for covering any costs incurred as a result of these services.

Here are a few tips to ensure the safety of your vessel during this season of heavy snowfall:

1. Remove snow and ice accumulation including keeping scuppers clear of blockage
2. Check shaft packing for excess leakage.
3. Perform routine checks for signs of loose or deteriorating planks on wooden hulled vessels.
4. Conduct a routine inspection of your automatic bilge pump.
5. Visually inspect all thru-hull fittings for damage or loose connections.
6. Remove all unnecessary fuel from your boat if you are planning to be away for an extended period of time.
7. Verify and update your contact information with your local Small Boat Harbor.
8. Arrange reliable snow removal for both your boat and the finger pier which it occupies.

Last year, a recorded total of six vessels sank due to excess snow build up on the vessels in Valdez and Juneau.


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