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ARCTIC ALASKA FISHERIES RESPONDS TO NTSB FINDINGS ON VESSEL SINKING

ARCTIC ALASKA FISHERIES RESPONDS TO NTSB FINDINGS ON VESSEL SINKING
 SEATTLE, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Arctic Alaska Fisheries Corp. (NYSE: ICE) today responded to a report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) which summarizes the findings of its investigation into the sinking of the Aleutian Enterprise fishing vessel in 1990.
 The Aleutian Enterprise, a factory trawler which was owned by Aleutian Enterprise L.P. and managed by Arctic Alaska, sank on March 22, 1990, in the Bering Sea. Nine lives were lost in the tragedy.
 Ronald Jensen, Arctic Alaska's president and chief executive officer, said after review of the report that the circumstances leading to the sinking remained unclear and reiterated that the company's safety and operating procedures at the time of the vessel accident were at a level commensurate with those practiced in the industry, if not better.
 "If anything 'positive' could come from a tragedy such as this, perhaps it is that it has given rise to a new awareness and higher standards within the industry and will, over time, help to clarify regulatory guidelines concerning safety practices and safety enforcement for all vessel operators," said Jensen.
 Jensen noted that Arctic Alaska has addressed all of the NTSB recommendations specific to the company's safety and operating procedures.
 Since the 1990 sinking, Jensen said the company has hired a former Coast Guard captain as a full-time safety director and instituted "the most comprehensive and formalized safety program in the industry." The program includes thorough safety checks of every vessel in the fleet, occurring annually or more frequently; monthly emergency training conducted on-board by vessel captains; new-hire safety programs; and mandatory classroom training for key vessel personnel.
 He said the company has spearheaded industry-wide efforts to develop programs that emphasize preventive safety measures in the at- sea workplace in conjunction with commercial fishing trade associations and OSHA. Additionally, Arctic Alaska vessels have taken part in new, voluntary Coast Guard vessel inspections.
 Jensen added that all civil suits brought by Aleutian Enterprise crew members or their survivors were settled earlier this year.
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: Dan Roberts of Arctic Alaska Fisheries, 206-298-4002/
 (ICE) CO: Arctic Alaska Fisheries; Aleutian Enterprise L.P. ST: Washington, Alaska IN: FOD SU:


SC-JH -- SE004 -- 8535 04/15/92 09:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1992
Words:378
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