28 accidents reported off Oregon and Washington coasts since crab season began


The Coast Guard reports 28 accidents have been reported off the coasts of Oregon and Washington since commercial Dungeness crab season began Jan. 15.

Lt. Michael Tappan with the Marine Safety Unit said most reported incidents are because of equipment failures on boats which aren't ready for operation or have poor maintenance.

“These accidents endanger the crews onboard each of these commercial fishing vessels, other nearby vessels, and Coast Guard search and rescue personnel," Lt. Tappan said.

Important safety practices for all commercial and recreational boaters include:

• All commercial crabbers and boaters working or standing on deck should be wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket

• Check current and future weather conditions

• Check and be aware of changing sea conditions especially on or near the river bars – if it appears that bar conditions will prevent you from returning home please call your local Coast Guard station via VHF-FM radio for assistance

• Ensure your (emergency signaling devices) “safety equipment are up to date and in proper working order, such as; life raft, immersion suits, EPIRB, and fire extinguishers”

• Ensure crab pots are secure aboard your vessel and not overloading your vessel

• Know your skill level and limitations

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