salmon fishing in Alaska is often a family affair, with kids joining parents
onboard. There is a problem that pops up though, with very young children and
the requirement for immersion or survival suits for everyone onboard a commercial fishing boat.
Lawrenson, the commercial fishing safety coordinator in Juneau says the Coast
Guard is aware of the conflict between regulation and reality.
-- (Immersion 1 28 sec "Therein lies the problem with ... and manufacturers
don't make it.")
one company, Scandia, that makes immersion suits for small children, but they
are not U.S. Coast Guard approved. As a result, the Coast Guard offers an
exemption to fishing families - but it must be requested in advance.
-- (Immersion 2 34 sec "It does put the boat owner ... going to enforce that
says the Coast Guard, through the exemption, is trying to bridge the practical
considerations between regulations and lack of product:
-- (Immersion 3 38 sec "It is a problem. It isn't ... not get in trouble with
the Coast Guard.")
state of Alaska only allows kids on commercial fishing boats under the age of
14 to be the children of the skipper, the exemption is only good for the kids
of the master of the boat. An exemption letter can be obtained by contacting
Lawrenson at the District 17 headquarters in Juneau.