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March 2013 Archives

NOAA Budget Cuts - Possible Effects on U.S. Fishing Industry

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as a government agency, is subject to the budget cuts that Congress did not manage to avert on March 1. There is concern in the fishing industry that possible cuts to the NOAA Fisheries Observation Program will affect how (and if) commercial fishing vessels are run. The U.S. commercial fishing industry generates roughly $4 billion per year, directly and indirectly employing tens of thousands of citizens.

F/V PACIFIC PRODUCER Hard Aground on a Kodiak Island Beach

No one was injured in the grounding, and no fuel has been spilled, but 169-foot fish processing vessel PACIFIC PRODUCER lies hard aground on the Kodiak side of Ouzinkie Narrows, which passes between Kodiak and Spruce Islands. She grounded there on March 15, only a couple of hours after having left the city of Kodiak, after lying in port for months. Seas at the time of the grounding were reported as fairly calm with a nine-foot tide. Current photos of the vessel show blue sky and very calm water. Despite decent weather conditions and lightening her load, it seems PACIFIC PRODUCER will remain aground until next week when it's hoped that she can be refloated in higher tides. There is a ten-inch crack in the hull wall of a water tank, but because it is a water tank area designed to hold water, it seems to pose no threat to refloating. The owner, Chris Tsabouris of East West Seafood in Seattle, is said to be working with a salvage company.

F/V STELLA Fisherman Overboard and Rescued in Shelikof Strait, Alaska

On Friday, March 15, a 35-year-old fishermen fell overboard off 58-foot STELLA into four-foot, 37.6 degree Fahrenheit seas. The winds were blowing up to 20 mph, creating freezing spray. According to reports, the fisherman was in the water for about 25 minutes while his crewmates undertook his successful rescue. He was not wearing an immersion suit when he went overboard, and suffered hypothermia such that the crew called the Coast Guard to medevac the man for medical attention. So far, there have been no updates on the man's condition or name.

Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Requirement and Regulation Updates

Back on October 16, 2012, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (CGAA) went into effect. Soon afterward, on January 1, 2013, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 (CGMTA) became law. Both these acts were instituted with provisions that they would be amended and updated as needed over time.

F/V BEAUTY BAY Fisherman Medevaced for Hand Injury near St. Paul Island, Alaska

According to Coast Guard reports, a 27-year-old fisherman working aboard Seattle-based 116-foot F/V BEAUTY BAY was medevaced by Coast Guard helicopter the morning of March 8 for a hand injury he had suffered the prior morning. The young man was first transported to the St. Paul Clinic for immediate care; from there he was taken by Life-Med to a mainland hospital.

M/V HORIZON TRADER Crewmember Medevaced After Chest Injury

A 47-year-old man was medevaced about 200 miles east of Chesapeake Bay on March 6 after a fellow crewmember aboard 780-foot freighter HORIZON TRADER contacted the Coast Guard with the request for help. Apparently, the man had fallen and suffered injuries to his chest. He was airlifted by Coast Guard helicopter to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia. No other details have been released at this time.

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