Coast Guard inspectors back from Bristol Bay in support of salmon season

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Para Upchurch (right), a marine inspector with Sector Anchorage, inspects a survival suit as part of a commercial fishing vessel safety exam for the Miss Avena in Levelock, Alaska, June 16, 2020. Coast Guard inspectors with Sector Anchorage’s Marine Safety Task Force conducted inspections throughout the Bristol Bay region June 9-26 to prepare the salmon fishing fleet for a safe season. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Para Upchurch inspects a survival suit as part of a commercial fishing vessel safety exam for the Miss Avena in Levelock, Alaska, June 16, 2020. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Coast Guard inspectors returned to Anchorage Friday after a two-week deployment to Bristol Bay, conducting missions in support of the region’s commercial fishing season that kicked off Thursday.

Coast Guard law enforcement teams are to conduct safety boardings and enforce laws on the water.

Inspectors conducted a total of 372 dockside examinations of commercial fishing vessels in multiple communities within the region, including, but not limited to King Salmon, Dillingham, Naknek, South Naknek, Pilot Point, Ugashik, Platinum, Port Heiden, Levelock and Egegik.

Examiners addressed safety issues that were present, but did not issue fines or other penalties for any discrepencies they discovered at the dock. The exams focused on safety and addressed items such as flares, charts, navigational signals, fire extinguishers, emergency position indicating radio beacons and the serviceability of immersion suits. Each vessel that passed a dockside exam earned a decal.

“These examinations were free, took about half an hour, ensured compliance with all federal regulations and reduced the likelihood of having a safety-related issue and/or getting boarded at sea,” said Russ Hazlett, fishing vessel safety examiner from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage.

“We relied on the Civil Air Patrol for transportation during this deployment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jereme Altendorf, an emergency management specialist at Sector Anchorage. “While in these remote communities of Western Alaska, we also inspected bulk fuel facilities. Despite the pandemic this year, the Bristol Bay salmon fishery is still open, remote communities are still using fuel and oil spills are still a threat. We’re doing everything we can to prevent accidents while at the same time preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

Each Coast Guard member was tested for COVID-19 before deploying, followed by appropriate quarantine procedures. Inspectors wore protective equipment in accordance with state health mandates and practiced social distancing.


For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For recent photographs and videos, follow us on Flickr.


If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.