Coast Guard officials have announced plans to conduct courtesy dockside examinations of commercial fishing and uninspected passenger vessels in Cordova from April 14 to April 19.
Dockside examinations are designed to educate vessel operators and ensure vessel safety, with a focus on ensuring the safety of all crewmembers and passengers in emergency situations. These are no-cost, no-fault examinations and everyone is encouraged to participate.
Some reminders from the Coast Guard in advance of the examination days: All fire extinguishers on board require maintenance and inspection. Non-rechargeable extinguishers require annual maintenance performed by the vessel owner and must be replaced after 12 years. Rechargeable extinguishers require annual maintenance by a certified individual. All extinguishers require a tamper proof seal installed and a servicing tag or inspection checklist to record the last 12 monthly inspections.
Prepare for an exam by logging on to http://www.fishsafewest.info/ and clicking on the link to “generate a checklist for your particular fishing vessel.” Enter the vessel’s particulars to generate a checklist that shows exactly what examiners will be looking for and review this checklist several days ahead of the exam to ensure preparedness.
Cmdr. Pat Drayer, captain of the Port for the Marine Safety Unit Valdez, noted that Alaska’s commercial fishing vessel fleet plays a vital role in the state’s economy. Still, it is particularly hazardous work, and the Coast Guard strives to ensure the safety of these crewmembers, their vessels and the environment, Drayer said.
“Commercial fishing vessels are required to comply with the commercial fishing vessel safety regulations. This exam verifies compliance with those regulations, which could reduce the chances of being boarded or the time spent on a safety check during an at-sea boarding,” Drayer said.
Those wishing to complete their annual exam in Cordova should contact the Marine Safety Unit Valdez examiners by April 12 at 907-795-5885. Information required to schedule an exam includes preferred date and time, slip number, type of vessel, length, tonnage, operating area, name and owner contact information. For additional information on this program in Valdez and Cordova call Marine Safety Unit Valdez at 907-835-7220.