Coast Guard grounds 3 Oregon crab boats

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard has grounded three of the 433 vessels in Oregon's commercial crab fleet this week, citing safety violations.

On Thursday the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Fir boarded the Orca near Yaquina Bay and found insufficient immersion suits for the crew. It sent the boat back to port under escort.

Immersion suits provide flotation and protection from cold water.

The vessels Thora-S and Sunset were also boarded and their voyages were ended.

Violations included expired emergency position indicating radio beacons, expired distress signals and expired life rafts and batteries.

The commercial Dungeness crab season, Oregon's most valuable fishery, opened Dec. 1.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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