Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Dockside Vessel Exams, Safety Classes Offered in Alaska

With the opening of this year’s Bristol Bay salmon season, the U.S. Coast Guard has been conducting courtesy dockside exams of commercial fishing vessels, while the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association is offering maritime safety education to fishermen in Western Alaska and Bristol Bay.

Examiners will look at any safety issues that examiners might see before mariners leave the dock and won’t issue fines or other penalties for any problems at the dock or before launch, according to the USCG. The exams will note flares, charts, navigational signals, fire extinguishers, emergency radio beacons and the serviceability of immersion suits, among other items.

Exams are being offered June 14-25 at Dillingham, Egegik and King Salmon. To schedule an exam in Dillingham, call (907) 764-5071 and for an appointment in Egegik, the number is (907) 538-8062. For an exam in King Salmon, call (907) 717-6270 or (907) 538-9748.

Fishermen can run a ring buoy up on the mast or on the anchor/bow to show they are ready for an exam.

"Coast Guard dockside examinations are free, ensure compliance with all federal regulations and can reduce the likelihood of getting boarded at sea if you pass and earn a decal," said Russ Hazlett, a fishing vessel safety examiner at Sector Anchorage. “But more importantly, an exam could save your life.”

Mariners should also consider signing up for one-day fishing vessel drill conductor classes on June 10-11 in Naknek and on June 12-13 in Dillingham. Visit https://www.amsea.org/ or call (907) 747-3287 for more.

“If you want to provide your crew with a comprehensive, hands-on, maritime lifesaving education in a short amount of time, please register for one of these courses,” said Jerry Dzugan, executive director for AMSEA. “Setting aside just one day could mean the difference between a successful season and a loss of life at sea.”

For more on how to prepare for a vessel exam, visit http://www.fishsafewest.info/.

To make an appointment for a vessel exam at other locations, reach out to any of the following USCG marine safety offices.

  • Marine Safety Unit Valdez: (907) 835-7220
  • Marine Safety Detachment Dutch Harbor: (907) 581-3466
  • Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak: (907) 486-5918
  • Marine Safety Detachment Seward: (907) 224-4784
  • Marine Safety Detachment Homer: (907) 235-3292
  • Marine Safety Detachment Sitka: (907) 966-5454
  • Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan: (907) 225-4496