Coast Guard Fines Commercial Fisherman

TAMPA, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard issued a $5,000 civil penalty Feb. 21, to the owner of the 42-foot commercial-fishing vessel WJ III, homeported in Tarpon Springs, Fla., for operating his fishing vessel offshore after failing to correct primary lifesaving and firefighting safety deficiencies.

A post-search-and-rescue boarding conducted Feb. 19, approximately 150-miles west of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., noted the vessel’s inflatable liferaft and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) had not been properly serviced. Additionally, the vessel failed to have adequate firefighting equipment onboard. As a result of these deficiencies, the vessel’s fishing voyage was terminated and the vessel was ordered back to port until all safety deficiencies were corrected.

The federal commercial-fishing vessel safety regulations were enacted more than a decade ago to address vessel casualties, and the resultant loss of life, that made fishing one of the most dangerous occupations in the nation.

To help mariners stay in compliance with these federal safety requirements, the Coast Guard offers free dockside safety examinations.

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