Coast Guard offering free dockside examinations through June 17

Jun 12, 2019

By getting an examination before heading out for the season, fishermen can make sure that their boats will easily pass inspection if they get boarded by the Coast Guard at sea.

A fisherman works on his boat ahead of the 2019 season.
Credit Kendra Kapotak / KDLG

Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard are in Dillingham through June 17 offering free dockside examinations for commercial boats.

By getting an examination before heading out for the season, fishermen can make sure that their boats will easily pass inspection if they get boarded by the Coast Guard at sea.

Coast Guard examiners say boat requirements vary based on how far out the vessel will be traveling. But in general they will be looking for safety gear -- such as immersion suits and flares -- and checking that those items are not expired.

Josh Will, one of the examiners, says boats that pass inspection this week will receive a safety decal that can save fishermen time and trouble once they are out on the water.

“If the enforcement guys that are out there on the big white boat come and board you,” Will said, “A lot of times they’ll just look, you’ll have your decal that’s good, and you’ll get an expedited spot check. If you don’t have the decal, they’ll take a longer inspection and time is money. And that stops you from fishing when you could be out there fishing.”

Members of the Coast Guard will be in Dillingham through June 17. Those looking to get their boat examined can sign up by calling 907-717-7795.