In the wake of a marine casualty involving a Bering Sea fishing vessel in March, the U.S. Coast Guard has recommended that owners, operators and masters of vessels with controllable-pitch propellers understand the design and operation of the system. This includes the primary and emergency sources of power for both the control and main systems, the location and procedures for using alternate control stations, and the locations of emergency shutdowns. In the March incident that resulted in multiple fatalities, the crew experienced problems in the launching and entering of three liferafts because the vessel was making considerable sternway when the abandon ship order was issued. Evidence indicates the main engines were still running and the vessel was backing with significant astern pitch. As a result, two of the liferafts quickly traveled forward past the bow after they were launched.