Coast Guard terminates fishing vessel voyage for multiple safety violations near Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Coast Guard Cutter Mellon file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Mellon file photo

JUNEAU, Alaska — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon terminated the voyage of the fishing vessel Nushagak Spirit near Dutch Harbor after discovering several safety issues and environmental concerns on board the vessel Monday.

The crew of the Mellon conducted the boarding of the Nushagak Spirit three nautical miles east of Umnak Island where they discovered one fishing violation, 14 safety violations and the improper discharge of bilge water.

Specifically, the vessel’s master admitted to pumping water from the bilge over the side of the vessel, a violation of the Clean Water Act.

The fishing violation consisted of not having a proper logbook. The safety violations consisted of three life rings that were missing retro tape, nine fire extinguishers that required inspection and missing waste management and safety plans.

“We perform at-sea safety inspections to ensure mariners are operating in compliance with commercial fishing vessel safety and environmental regulations,” said Capt. John Hollingsworth, 17th District incident management branch chief. “These regulations help ensure the safety of life at sea and protect our marine environment.”

Free vessel safety checks are available in most Alaska ports by contacting the nearest Coast Guard sector, marine safety detachment or contacting Scott Wilwert, 17th District commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator. A dockside safety check doesn’t exempt mariners from at-sea boardings but it can speed the process along and help ensure any discrepancies have been addressed before getting underway.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage – 907-271-6700

Coast Guard Sector Juneau – 907-463-2448

Marine Safety Unit Valdez – 907-835-7210

Marine Safety Detachment Dutch Harbor – 907-581-3466

Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak – 907-486-5918

Marine Safety Detachment Homer – 907-235-3292

Marine Safety Detachment Sitka – 907-966-5454

Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan – 907-225-4496

Scott Wilwert – 907-463-2810

The Coast Guard Cutter Mellon is a 378-foot high endurance cutter homeported in Seattle.

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