Operation Safe Crab 2007 embarks upon Westport, Wash.

SEATTLE – Operation Safe Crab 2007 kicked off Monday in Westport, Wash., as Coast Guard vessel safety examiners conducted safety compliance checks and voluntary dockside examinations aboard Dungeness crab fishing vessels.

The Coast Guard examiners spot-checked primary lifesaving equipment and pot loading practices on vessels such as, watertight integrity, survival suits, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB), and liferafts.

Westport has been one of the primary marinas in which Dungeness crab fishing vessels have operated from in past years, which makes it a key area for the Coast Guard to implement these preventive measures in its continuing initiative to reduce the number of fisherman’s lives lost at sea.

“We came out to Westport today because of safety concerns we have for crab fishermen,” said Petty Officer Matt Mattes, Coast Guard Fishing Vessel Examiner from Sector Portland, Ore. “All we’re looking for is immersion suits, survival craft and EPIRB. If they have those three things, there’s probably a good chance they’ll survive most disasters they could have [at sea].”

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