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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

U.S. Coast Guard in Nome

The Coast Guard, along with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, City of Nome, Nome Volunteer Fire Department and National Weather Service spoke with local dredgers to make sure they are equipped with all of the tools and resources necessary to safely dredge for gold this season.

Gold dredging in Nome first caught the attention of the Coast Guard in 2011, when a recreational dredger passed away in an underwater dredging accident. Borg and Albright, Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, who were sent to Nome to investigate the incident and found that many of the dredging vessels were unsafe.

“Our main focus was vessel safety and ensuring the vessels engaging in the dredging activities were properly outfitted with federal requirements for safety equipment,” Borg said.

“We noticed that there was a large population of these vessels and many are haphazardly put together.
With the purpose-built crafts that we’re looking at, a lot of them don’t take the fuels and oils and so forth into consideration when they’re building the boats,” Borg said, “So that was a big thing just to make sure they understood what their responsibilities were in the event that they released anything into the water.”

An oily sheen was released into the water when Goldenrod was first released into the Bering Sea (residue from a small hydraulic fuel leak).  However, that has since been rectified as she now meets environmental and safety standards.  Large fines are associated with vessels of those who do not comply with the Department of Natural Resources' standards that the state of Alaska sets.

These photos are pictures of several different dredges.  As one can plainly see, because they are home built crafts, they are now inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard for safety and environmental issues.


  1. Pictures are tiny - cannot see details - suggest you hyperlink to HD quality images. You can follow Pete on his NW Passage at this blog:

    Good luck,

  2. Thank you Doug. The idea of the photos was just to show how homemade looking many of them are. It is a sheer wonder to me that some of them even start! Better photos of Goldenrod (our dredge) to follow soon. Will I follow Pete or Doug on his NW Passage?

    Good Luck Too,

  3. Pete is out there on TOKIMATA in 2012 - I'll be out there in 2013 on GREY GOOSE (