Articles Posted in Crabbers

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Six crew members of a Cambodian crab fishing boat died on May 16 in a fire on their ship. The vessel was anchored in a Japanese port at the time.

A total of 23 crew members were on board the vessel at the time of the fire. In addition to the six that were killed, two other crew members were hospitalized for burns.

The fire burned for about 11 hours before it was extinguished. The six bodies were retrieved after the fire was extinguished and water was pumped out of the vessel.

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The Coast Guard will again be conducting Operation Safe Crab to reduce the loss of lives and fishing vessels in the west coast crab fleet.

Coast Guard personnel will be available on the docks for dockside exams in ports from Monterey, Calif., to Crescent City, Calif., Nov. 6-8 to help identify and mitigate safety hazards in the crab fleet.

Coast Guard personnel will be walking the docks and informing commercial crab vessel operators of the required lifesaving equipment for their vessels, as well as pot-loading practices affecting vessel stability and watertight integrity. The 2010 Authorization Act changed the law for commercial fishing vessels, making it mandatory for vessels operating outside of three nautical miles to have a dockside examination after Oct. 15, 2012. Dockside exams have reduced the number of casualties and helped identify potential problems. 11th Coast Guard District statistics show nearly one-third of Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons and life rafts carried on board were incorrectly installed. This type of situation is easily corrected and can help prevent a disaster at sea. Those vessels with serious safety discrepancies, such as overloading, lack of watertight integrity, missing primary life saving equipment or non-functioning EPIRB’s, can be restricted from operating until the discrepancies are corrected.

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The 30-foot fishing vessel ELLA ANN sank at the mouth of Willapa Bay on Sunday while fishing for dungeness crab. One of two crewmen, 34 year old Luis Perez was tragically lost. The caused of the capsize and sinking is unknown, but will be investigated by the Coast Guard. The captain of the vessel, Eric Petit, was revived with CPR by a helicopter crew after he was rescued.

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Coast Guard is implementing Operation Safe Crab for the 2010 Dungeness Crab Season. On November 9th through 11th the Coast Guard will be conducting dockside examinations in California ports preparing for the start of the Dungeness Crab season on November 15th.

The spot checks emphasize life saving equipment, pot loading practices and stability and vessel watertight integrity. Statistics from previous years indicate that as many as one third of the crab boats inspected had incorrectly installed EPIRBS and life rafts.

The Coast Guard hopes that the inspections can lead to immediate corrections and needless loss of lives. The West Coast Dungeness Crab fishery is one of the most deadly of all fisheries. Smaller vessels working in extreme weather put crewmen at serious risk for injury and death.

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Four areas around Puget Sound will soon be opened seven days a week for crabbing.

At 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, marine areas 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 9 (Admiralty Inlet), 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) and 12 (Hood Canal) will reopen for sport crabbing through Jan. 2, 2011. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) decided to reopen the four areas after determining that sufficient crab are available for harvest.

Crab fishing will also remain open seven days a week through Jan. 2 in marine areas 4 (Neah Bay), 5 (Sekiu), and 13 (south Puget Sound), where the fishery has continued uninterrupted since June 18.
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A King County Judge has ordered B&N Fisheries to reinstate an injured crewman’s maintenance and care benefits.

The Court further ordered the company to authorize surgery for the crewman’s elbow and to pay reasonable attorney fees in connection with the motion. B&N Fisheries moved to block the attorney fee award, arguing that only a jury can determine the amount of attorney fees due in a case involving the wrongful withholding of maintenance and care. The Court denied the motion and again affirmed the crewman’s right to be compensated for attorney fees.

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Mayport Coast Guard crews were off the coast of Amelia Island today, trying to determine if any pollution was caused by the Monday capsizing of a shrimp boat that killed a crew member.

As of Tuesday morning, the Coast Guard still had not identified the crewman, said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Evanson of the Mayport Coast Guard station. The sunken vessel, the 36-foot Miss Alberta, is posing no hazard to navigation for other ships and boats, Evanson said. The shrimp boat’s owner is responsible for removing the underwater wreckage, he said.

Shrimper Tony Malone, first mate aboard another shrimp boat, the Joe Bip, said his boat got a distress call about 3 p.m. Monday from the Miss Alberta, which was shrimping nearby, about a half mile from shore. Waves were about 5 feet offshore and winds were coming from the south at 17.5 mph and gusting at 21 mph, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather buoy off the coast of St. Augustine. Malone dove into the water to save the two-member crew. “The boat was already upside down,” he said. He said he found the captain, who he and witnesses identified as Bo King of Mayport, swimming with his dead crew member tethered to him with a rope.

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New rules shift the balance of Puget Sound’s annual crab take toward recreational fisherman.

“It’s a very big deal,” said Brian Allison, an Oak Harbor resident and president of the Puget Sound Crab Association. “It’s basically the difference between a viable commercial industry and one that’s not.”

Yet those representing recreational interests see the change in a different light. They chalk up the new rules as not only a big win for the people of Washington, but one that is long overdue.

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The Coast Guard received a report on Oct. 5, 2010, from the Environmental Protection Agency of a manufactured gas plant coal tar creosote waste release in the mid-tidal zone of Sinclair Inlet in Bremerton.

The source is a subsurface concrete pipe coming from the old Bremerton Gasworks, a site where a coal-gasification plant operated from the 1930s into the 1950s. The pipe is leaking creosote into beach sediments and marine water, but the pipe’s origin is unknown at this time. The EPA and Coast Guard are working together on an excavation plan to remove the pipe and contaminated soil from the beach and plug the pipe.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act fund has been opened and the Coast Guard has hired Ballard Diving and Salvage to contain and secure the release.
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U.S. Navy officials say they want to assure Hood Canal residents that steps have been taken to avoid a repeat of an incident linked to the destruction of thousands of oysters.

Hood Canal residents blamed the USS Port Royal, a 567-foot guided missile cruiser, for creating a wake that washed oysters high up on their beaches on Aug. 11.

Some oysters — including those at Scenic Beach State Park — were moved back down to the water by volunteers. But many more on both sides of Hood Canal perished in the heat of the summer sun, according to residents, including Vickie Veloni of Miami Beach near Seabeck.
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