Coast Guard halts 2 commercial fishing crews following multiple safety violations

SpencerBOSTON — The Coast Guard terminated the voyages of two commercial fishing boats Thursday after multiple safety violations were found on each.

The Coast Guard Cutter Spencer crew terminated the voyage of Amber Nicole, an 83-foot dredger homeported in New Bedford, after Spencer’s crew discovered the boat had three serious safety deficiencies. The violations included having no life raft, improperly marked survival suits, and no record of performing mandatory monthly drills. Amber Nicole was operating approximately 44 nautical miles off shore from Nantucket with a crew of seven. The water temperature was 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of the boarding.

“In New England, January and February are when the greatest loss of lives occur at sea,” said Ted Harrington, the First Coast Guard District’s commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator. “During the winter, room for error is reduced. Fishermen must react right away in an emergency and have the equipment and training necessary to save their lives.”

Following termination, Coast Guard Cutter Tybee escorted Amber Nicole back to its homeport.

In the second termination, the 35-foot fishing boat Restless homeported in Freeport, New York, had its voyage terminated when a boarding team from Coast Guard Station Jones Beach discovered Restless had four serious safety deficiencies. The violations included not having immersion suits, insufficient fire extinguishers, an expired life raft, and an expired emergency indicating radio beacon. Restless was operating more than three nautical miles south of Long Beach, New York, with a crew of four. The water temperature was 51 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of the boarding.

“We understand these fishermen are working for their livelihood,” said Harrington. “Our job is not to terminate their fishing voyages and cause them to incur a loss of income. Our job is to prevent them from losing their lives.”

Boating safety information for mariners is available is on the National Maritime Center’s website and

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