Safety

 

Safety Training

CVRF believes that the safety of our fishermen and residents must always come first; therefore, CVRF offers our communities annual training in marine safety through our Marine Safety Program. These training sessions teach fishermen and other residents many important safety measures and the basic survival skills needed on the water by commercial and subsistence fishers. This training is also important to families who boat for travel or recreation. Training is conducted during the spring and priority is given to communities with the highest number of permit holders.

We understand that region fishers already know and respect traditional knowledge regarding the dangers of their unique environment. CVRF and our Marine Safety Trainers hope to see more fishers increase their knowledge of marine boating safety and wear personal flotation devices (PFD) whenever they are at sea.

 

Process:

1. Inquire about availability at your local CSC.
2. Attend training!

The information provided is intended to be helpful to our fishermen, but it is your responsibility to comply with all applicable Coast Guard requirements. 

Coast Guard Regulations

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 requires all commercial fishing vessels operating more than 3 miles from shore to  successfully complete a mandatory dockside safety examination at least once every two years.  The new federal requirements apply to both USCG documented and state registered vessels that commercially fish more than 3 nautical miles from shore. Upon successful completion of the exam, the vessel owner will be issued a decal by the USCG.   The requirements went into effect in 2012.  It is the responsibility of the vessel operators to comply with the new U.S. Coast Guard requirements.


The CVRF Board approves money each year to buy equipment to help our resident commercial fishermen operate safely and meet Coast Guard requirements.  Our goal is to promote health and safety in all our communities, and we believe fishing operations can be made safer by incorporating modern safety equipment and making USCG regulations part of the fishing lifestyle.

Coast Guard Inspections

The Coast Guard travels to the Coastal Villages region each summer to conduct boarding inspections of commercial fishing boats.  Boats are inspected to ensure compliance with all regulations. CVRF works with the Coast Guard to ensure that resident commercial fishers are in compliance.  

Here is what the Coast Guard says;  
The importance of ensuring commercial fishing vessels are safe and ready for operation cannot be stressed enough. Emergencies on the water can happen at any time and the best preparation takes place well before you leave the dock. Common deficiencies found include:

  • Insufficient amount of personal flotation devices (PFDs)
  • Insufficient Emergency Distress Signals
  • Insufficient amount of fire extinguishers
  • Insufficient Type IV personal flotation device (life ring)
  • Lack of Vessel Registrations

In preparation for the upcoming season, fishermen are highly encouraged to utilize the checklist to assist them in preparing for the dockside exam. In order to utilize the current exemption in place for the Coastal Villages region, fishermen must attain the fishing vessel safety decal issued by the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Requirements/Exemptions

In 2012, the Coast Guard granted certain exemptions to the immersion suit and EPIRB requirements for CVRF community  residents who operate boats 26 feet long or less.  Residents who operate in boats longer than 26 feet are encouraged to contact the Coast Guard for individual exemptions.  The Coast Guard contact is Scott Wilwert and he can be reached at 907-463-2810 or at Scott.Wilwert@uscg.mil.  Non-residents will need to each individually apply for exemptions from the Coast Guard.

The following are requirments for CVRF region resident salmon, herring, and halibut commercial fishers:

SALMON / HERRING REQUIREMENTS - Safety Requirements for Commercial Salmon/Herring Skiffs of Open Construction, Less Than 26-feet in length, Operating Within 3 miles Offshore and with 4 or Less Persons Onboard:

  • AK Numbers: Valid State Certificate of Number onboard the vessel. Block letters and numbers on the forward half of the vessel. (For example, AK 1234 AK. This is NOT the ADF&G number) Cite: 33 CFR 173
  • PFD’s / Immersion Suits: Coast Guard Approved Immersion Suit. On rivers, a Coast Guard Approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD (lifejacket) is acceptable. They must each have a Coast Guard Approved PFD marker light, with batteries replaced annually. They must also be marked with the name of the vessel or the name of the owner or the name of the person assigned to wear it. Cite: 46 CFR 28.115  **CVRF Commercial F/Vs currently have an open exemption from the Immersion Suit requirements as noted in the U.S. Coast Guard District 17 letter 16731 dated April 19, 2012.
  • Thowable Floatation Device: One Coast Guard Approved Cushion (Type IV PFD) or Ring Life Buoy for vessels 16 to 26 feet in length. For vessels greater than 26 feet, 1 orange ring buoy, 24 inch in diameter with 60 feet of line attached. Must be marked with vessel name and at least 31 square inches of retro-reflective tape. Cite: 46 CFR 28.115
  • Distress Signals (Flares): Operations within 3 miles shall carry any 3 Coast Guard Approved flares. All flares must be replaced by their expiration dates. Cite: 46 CFR 28.145
  • Sound Signal: Means of making an efficient sound signal, for example, a whistle or canned air horn. Cite 33 USC 1603, Navigation Rules (Rule 33)
  • Injury Placard: Posted where crew can see it. Available from the Coast Guard. Cite: 46 CFR 28.165
  • Navigation Lights: An all-around white light, if operating or at anchor between sunset and sunrise. Cite: 33 USC 1620, Navigation Rules (Rule 23)

Note 1: This list is summarized for the Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) commercial salmon skiffs of open construction less than 26-feet in length, operated within 3 nautical miles of the Territorial Sea baseline, with less than 4 persons onboard.  Additional requirements may apply to these vessels that operate outside these limits.  See the applicable Code of Federal Regulations for specific applicability and conditions.  


HALIBUT REQUIREMENTS -
Safety Requirements for Commercial Halibut Skiffs of Open Construction, Less Than 26 -feet in length, Operating Within 12 miles Offshore and with 4 or Less Persons Onboard:

  • AK Numbers: Valid State Certificate of Number onboard the vessel. Block letters and numbers on the forward half of the vessel. (For example, AK 1234 AK. This is NOT the ADF&G number) Cite: 33 CFR 173
  • PFD’s / Immersion Suits: Coast Guard Approved Immersion Suit. On rivers, a Coast Guard Approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD (lifejacket) is acceptable. They must each have a Coast Guard Approved PFD marker light, with batteries replaced annually. They must also be marked with the name of the vessel or the name of the owner or the name of the person assigned to wear it. Cite: 46 CFR 28.115 **CVRF Commercial F/Vs currently have an open exemption from the Immersion Suit requirements as noted in the U.S. Coast Guard District 17 letter 16731 dated April 19, 2012.
  • EPIRB: A float free, automatically activated Category 1 406 MHz EPIRB or a manually activated Category 2 406 MHz EPIRB. Must be registered through NOAA. Cite: 46 CFR 25.26
  • Throwable Floatation Device: One Coast Guard Approved Cushion (Type IV PFD) or Ring Life Buoy for vessels 16 to 26 feet in length. For vessels greater than 26 feet, 1 orange ring buoy, 24 inch in diameter with 60 feet of line attached. Must be marked with vessel name and at least 31 square inches of retro-reflective tape. Cite: 46 CFR 28.115
  • Distress Signals (Flares): Operations within 3 NM shall carry any 3 Coast Guard Approved flares. For vessels operating outside 3NM, different rules apply. All flares must be replaced by their expiration dates. Cite: 46 CFR 28.145
  • Sound Signal: Means of making an efficient sound signal, for example, a whistle or canned air horn. Cite 33 USC 1603, Navigation Rules (Rule 33)
  • Injury Placard: Posted where crew can see it. Available from the Coast Guard. Cite: 46 CFR 28.165
  • Navigation Lights: An all-around white light, if operating or at anchor between sunset and sunrise. Cite: 33 USC 1620, Navigation Rules (Rule 23)

Note 1: This list is summarized for the Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) commercial halibut skiffs of open construction less than 26-feet in length, operated within 3 nautical miles of the Territorial Sea baseline, with less than 4 persons onboard.  Additional requirements may apply to these vessels that operate outside these limits.  See the applicable Code of Federal Regulations for specific applicability and conditions.  

Safety Equipment

CVRF generally provides the following items each season:
1. EPIRBs ($100 deposit required)
2. PLBs ($100 deposit required)
3. Immersion suits (boats over 26 feet long)
4. Lifejackets
5. Strobe lights
6. Lifejacket whistles
7. Reflective tape
8. Coast Guard approved flares

SELECTION PROCESS
1. Have a history of fishing for CVS and be a current CVRF resident (See CVRF Residency Overview).
2. Inquire with your local CSC about obtaining marine safety equipment

CONTACT
For more information, please contact your nearest CSC staff, or call 888-795-5151.