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December 2012 Archives

Enclosed Space Hazards on a Fishing Vessel

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) defines an enclosed space as an area with limited openings, poor ventilation, and not designed for continuous occupancy. One source used by the U.S. Navy lists the four top major risks in enclosed areas as oxygen deficiency, hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide, and explosive gases in general. Another source includes trip/fall hazards and residual toxic vapors left over from previous cargoes on their list. OSHA also provides a helpful fact sheet for those working aboard fishing vessels.

MARPOL Annex V Amendments Effective January 1, 2013

MARPOL stands for the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. This convention was adopted under the name International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships in November of 1973 at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), with the goal of pollution prevention and reduction, whether accidental or as a result of normal operations. However, this convention, with further changes, did not take effect or gain its current title until October of 1983. The purpose of the IMO and MARPOL is to guide states (countries) in best maritime safety practices and standardize safe operating procedures with international cooperation.

Large Dock Washes Up on Washington Coast - Tsunami Related?

Last Friday, the crew of F/V LADY NANCY alerted the Coast Guard that they'd spotted what seeemed to be a large dock drifting about sixteen nautical miles northwest of the entrance to Grays Harbor. The Coast Guard broadcast a safety alert and began an air search for the hazard, but it was not sighted again until this past Tuesday when they located it beached in a wilderness area south of LaPush. The National Park Service has closed that part of the beach until potential risks have been assessed.

Tsunami Debris - Possible Dock Section Sighted Near Washington Coastline

On December 14, F/V LADY NANCY, the same vessel which requested Coast Guard assistance in an unrelated event two days later, reported what looked to be a large dock drifting about sixteen nautical miles northwest of the entrance to Grays Harbor. It's thought that it may be similar to the Japanese dock which washed ashore in Oregon this past summer.

F/V LADY NANCY - Safety Success Story

On December 16, the crew of 41-foot F/V LADY NANCY sent out a distress call to the Coast Guard, indicating they were taking on water off Westport, WA. The weather was not bad for December, but apparently the starboard rail submerged after a wave caused some of the crab pots to go to starboard. According to the Coast Guard, the crew of four did the right thing by calling for help, donning immersion suits, and dumping their crab pots in an effort to restore stability. The Coast Guard arrived to escort LADY NANCY back to port; no flooded areas were located and no safety discrepancies were found. The crew was ready for the worst in their immersion suits, but they fortunately did not need to go into the water.

Increased Fishing Industry Jobs and Seafood Catch in 2011

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 10.1 billion pounds of seafood were caught nationwide by U.S. commercial fishers in 2011, valued at $1.9 billion, with Alaska catching 5.4 billion pounds of that. NOAA further reports that this is a 23% increase in volume and 17% rise in value over 2010.

Commercial Fishing Fatalities 2011 Figures Released

The updated, completed National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) report on commercial fishing fatalities in the U.S. is in. There were 39 fatalities in the fishing industry reported for 2011. The number reported for 2010 was 38.

LADY CECELIA - Investigation Continues on Cause of March 10 Sinking

November 28, a three-day public hearing and investigation into the sinking of F/V LADY CECELIA, led by the U.S. Coast Guard, wrapped up. The Coast Guard held a first public hearing this past April. In September, LADY CECELIA was located at a depth of over 300 feet about twenty miles from shore. Once she was located, a remote-controlled sub camera sent photos to the surface.

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