Articles Posted in Fisherman’s Finest

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Watchstanders at AmericasFinest-300x145the 17th Coast Guard District command center in Juneau, AK received a medevac request after a crewmember aboard the 262-foot fish processor AMERICA’S FINEST suffered serious foot injuries.

The request is reported to have come from the vessel’s master at approximately 2:30am on Thursday, March 17th. The vessel was located about 20 miles west of St. George Island at the time of the incident.

A US Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was deployed while the AMERICA’S FINEST vessel traveled toward Dutch Harbor. An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Kodiak was also launched to provide additional support. The injured worker was hoisted at approximately 12:52pm, then flown to Dutch Harbor where LifeMed personnel were waiting.

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ShipHull12-300x150The Jones Act or Maritime Law requires that vessels moving goods between U.S. ports are owned and operated by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Vessels are also required to be built in the U.S. by companies owned and operated by U.S citizens or permanent residents. The Jones Act requires that the steel used in the construction of a vessel be domestic, and that no more than 1.5 percent of the vessels “steel weight” be foreign processed. So, what happens when a vessel exceeds the limit? This is exactly what happened when Dakota Creek Industries, a 44-year-old family owned shipbuilding company in Anacortes, Washington, self-reported that the F/V AMERICA’S FINEST had indeed exceeded that limit.

The Kirkland, Washington based fishing company, Fisherman’s Finest, contracted a Norwegian company to design a new 264-foot trawler for the company. The vessel design required a steel-bending process that is more common and less expensive when fabricated in Europe. Just under 10 percent of the steel for the vessel was formed in the Netherlands. The vessel carries a $75 million price tag.

“Fishermen are key drivers of Washington state’s growing economy. We need their boats out fishing, not bogged down by regulations meant for large vessels like oil tankers,” said Cantwell.

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