370 Bristol Bay harvesters get Coast Guard vessel checkups

Coast Guard inspectors returned to Anchorage June 25, after a two-week deployment in Bristol Bay, in support of the region’s commercial fishing activity. The most common deficiencies included serviceability of immersion suits. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard inspectors with the Marine Safety Task Force say they conducted dockside exams for 370 harvesters in the Bristol Bay commercial fishing fleet in Bristol Bay communities before returning to Anchorage on June 25.

The exams were conducted in King Salmon, Dillingham, Naknek, South Naknek, Pilot Point, Ugashik, Platinum, Port Heiden, Levelock and Egegik, with a focus on safety, including flares, charts, navigational signals, fire extinguishers and emergency position indicating radio beacons.

The Coast Guard issued 133 decals to vessels that passed their dockside exams and MSTF also inspected 14 facilities.

According to Russ Hazlett, fishing vessel safety examiner from Sector Anchorage, the most common deficiencies were the serviceability of immersion suits, flares, fire extinguishers and certificates of documentation.

Inspectors relied heavily on the Civil Air Patrol and Alaska Army National Guard for transportation during this deployment.

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, Coast Guard officials said.