The crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) terminated the voyages of the commercial fishing vessels Azure, Capt. Millions III and Capt. Danny for hazardous safety conditions during boardings off Honolulu Harbor in early November.
Of the 10 total boardings, the crew terminated the voyages of three fishing vessels and issued 39 notices of violation, including two fisheries violations, two potential marine pollution violations and 35 safety violations. Partnering with the Galveston Island during the boardings were two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents bringing their expansive knowledge and fisheries expertise.
Of the three fishing vessels whose voyages were terminated by the Galveston Island crew, the boarding team found multiple discrepancies, including excessive volatile fuel, multiple five-gallon buckets of oily water, oily water in the bilge, lack of a sound-producing device, lack of a record log book for training and drills as well as inoperable bilge and general alarms. In one case, a non-U.S. citizen was found to be serving as master of a U.S. documented vessel.
“Our role as the boarding team is to ensure compliance with all federal regulations,” said lead boarding officer, Lt. j.g. Chelsea Sheehy. “We identified various types of violations and instructed the respective masters to make the necessary corrections in order to ensure the overall safety of the Hawaii-based commercial fishing fleet.”
The Galveston Island crew escorted the three fishing vessels 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.
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 may not result in fines. Fishing vessel that are required to carry National Marine Fisheries Service observers are required to have a valid decal (not expired). Mariners interested in scheduling commercial fishing vessel safety exams may contact Charlie Medlicott at 808-535-3417 or Charles.J.Medlicott@uscg.mil.
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 in the main Hawaiian Islands that completes several such patrols annually.