Category Archive: FISH SAFE

FISH SAFE – Winch safety study identifies emergency shutoffs

In the January 2014 CFN, we discussed the hazards associated with winch level-winding operations on trawlers based on our ongoing Northeast Drum Winch Safety Improvement Study.  This time, we’ll look at what we have learned about drum winch emergency shutoffs. To recap, we collected data for the study on 54 vessels from Gloucester, New Bedford, …

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FISH SAFE – Winch safety study identifies crew hazards

by Ann Backus – Jan. 27 will mark five years since 53-year-old Bill Meldrum died off the coast of New Jersey aboard the 65′ Lydia J after being pulled into his vessel’s rotating drum winch.  After that incident, I was determined that no one else would suffer that kind of death.  In 2012, my colleagues …

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FISH SAFE – Lady Mary report offers sobering lessons

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by Ann Backus – It’s been nearly four-and-a-half years since the March 24, 2009 sinking of the Cape May, NJ-based Lady Mary and the loss of six of her seven crewmen.  That’s a long time for everyone touched by this tragedy. But, on Aug. 30, the Coast Guard released the final report on its investigation …

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FISH SAFE: Take steps to avoid accidental EPIRB activations

by Ann Backus – Whether you fish commercially for lobsters, scallops, groundfish, or other species, you probably own an Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).  These instruments are vital for helping the Coast Guard locate you and/or your vessel in times of distress.  Both vessel and personal EPIRBs are now available at a reasonable cost. …

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FISH SAFE – Follow mariner’s ‘three rules’ to avoid storms

by Ann Backus – Early in June, Andrea, the first tropical storm of the season, slammed into Florida and then proceeded up the East Coast into New England.  She won’t be the last.  Hurricane season is now in full swing. Regardless of what the weather is when you leave port, be prepared to deal with …

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FISH SAFE – Prevent flooding: Keep an eye on your hatches

by Ann Backus – On Feb. 4, the 47′ Capt R M Chace began flooding off Chatham, MA.  This story had a good ending.  All four crewmembers donned survival suits and were rescued by personnel from the local Coast Guard station.  The boat was dewatered and towed to port, the catch was offloaded, and the …

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FISH SAFE – Students redesign knives, banders, oilers

Traditional banding tool, right, and the redesigned version, which features an angled shape to reduce wrist “flexion,” the bending down of the wrist, when picking up a band.  (Ann Backus photo)

by Ann Backus – In my last article (CFN November 2012), I described an industrial design class at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in which students were asked to innovate gear for the lobster industry that would be both serviceable and reduce the risk of injury.  This process, called “prevention through design” in …

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