Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coast Guard Begins 2011 Dockside Fishing Vessel Inspections in Prince William Sound

The 17th U.S. Coast Guard District has begun its annual voluntary dockside commercial fishing vessel safety examination and safety compliance spot check initiatives in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, with a goal of advancing safety within the commercial fleet.

Coast Guard officials announced this week that they will be available in Cordova from April 22 through May 27 for all commercial fishing vessel operators who are interested in scheduling a free voluntary dockside CFV safety exam. In Valdez, examiners are available throughout the year.

The exams are no fault and non-adversarial, serving to encourage compliance and discourage unsafe operations. Owners of vessels that do not pass the exam will be provided a list identifying deficiencies and items needed to be corrected for the vessel to be in full compliance with all applicable federal regulations. Upon successful completion of the exam, a CFV safety decal will be issued.

The Coast Guard said that in addition they would be conducting safety compliance spot checks on vessels not currently enrolled in the voluntary dockside program. Safety compliance spot checks focus on primary lifesaving and firefighting equipment aboard commercial fishing vessels in port. Spot checks are aimed to ensure critical safety items are ready for use, should an emergency occur at sea. Vessels possessing current CFV safety decals will not be selected for spot checks.

Vessels receiving a safety compliance spot check and found to have a major safety violation will be restricted from commercial fishing operations until the discrepancy is corrected and verified by a Coast Guard examiner.

Any questions regarding the voluntary dockside examinations or spot check program should be addressed to the Coast Guard MSU Valdez Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examiners at 907-255-8724 or 907-835-7225.

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