The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) terminated the voyages of the 79-foot Lady Jackie, the 62-foot commercial fishing vessel Blue Sky and the 82-foot Jennifer Lynn for hazardous conditions and safety violations during a boardings off Honolulu since Aug. 8.
“Our experience shows that hazardous safety conditions like these often lead to marine casualties with loss of life and that is why we take enforcement so seriously and will turn vessels back to the dock,” said Lt. Ryan Ball, commanding officer, Galveston Island. “Mariners need to understand that they must meet the regulations before putting to sea. It is a matter of safety and ultimately we want to see everyone return home after every voyage.”
All three vessels were escorted by the Galveston Island crew to the pier in Honolulu. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel are attending the vessels to ensure all discrepancies are rectified prior to any new voyages.
The boarding team from the cutter found discrepancies aboard the vessels including inoperable high water alarms, inoperable and/or expired survival craft, expired distress signals, an expired emergency position indicating radio beacon, a lack of or unserviceable life jackets, crews untrained in first aid or emergency procedures and a failure to conduct regular drills. In one case there was excessive fuel in the bilge and in another the vessel’s commercial fishing vessel safety decal and their registration are both expired.
Mandatory dockside safety exams must be completed for all commercial fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline. These exams are free and any discrepancies found at the dock are unlikely to result in fines. Fishing vessel that are required to carry National Marine Fisheries Service observers are required to have a valid decal (un-expired). Mariners interested in scheduling commercial fishing vessel safety exams may contact Charlie Medlicott at 808-535-3417 or Charles.J.Medlicott@uscg.mil.
In addition to the two terminations the crew of the Galveston Island boarded 19 other vessels in the area during their six-day patrol. The crew also hosted a marine resources officer, as part of a professional exchange with the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands is a self governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 92.7 sq. miles. The Cook Islands’ Exclusive Economic Zone, however, covers 690,000 sq. miles of ocean and borders the U.S. EEZ near American Samoa. The professional exchange was conducted to strengthen partnerships and examine both nations’ approach to fisheries enforcement and safety requirements aboard vessels operating in the Pacific.
The Galveston Island is a 110-foot Island class patrol boat homeported in Honolulu. The cutter is a multi-mission platform with a primary operation area of the main Hawaiian Islands.