Category Archive: FISH SAFE

FISH SAFE: EPIRBs – A cautionary tale for fishermen

In early August, the US Coast Guard District 17 in Anchorage, AK reported that roughly 16 false EPIRB activations since October 2018 had cost taxpayers about $534,000 — or close to an average of $33,400 per false activation.  The actual cost of a false activation depends on the context of the false activation and how …

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FISH-SAFE: Pondering two types of preventable fishing vessel casualties common in summer months

Are there certain fishing vessel casualties we see in the summer months that we could classify as preventable? Could we reduce fishing vessel casualties if we raised awareness of such preventable casualties? The answer is, yes.  That would seem to be the case. The USCG database of fishing vessel casualties — documenting incidents to which …

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FISH SAFE: Situational awareness and confined space hazards

Let’s start with situational awareness. It is my sense that most fishermen either naturally have, or seem to develop, excellent situational awareness skills. They have keen eyes and ears for non-normal situations – whether it be a change in the sound of their boat engine, the sense that another vessel is approaching through the fog, …

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A look back at 2018 Coast Guard casualty responses

Last year, for the Maine Fishermen’s Forum issue (see CFN Mar. 2018), I dug into the Coast Guard Division I database for information on the casualties to which the Coast Guard responded. I thought I would do the same thing this year for comparison. Once again this article will focus on the medico and medevac …

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USCG issues safety alert regarding potential radio frequency interference from LED lights

It sometimes seems that as new products for fishermen/boat owners come to market, we discover unexpected limitations, side-effects, or the need for work-arounds. This appears to be the case with some LED lights, a product that has become increasingly ubiquitous on many fishing boats.  Some LEDs, it seems, have been found to emit radio frequency …

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Refinishing your boat this winter? Check this out.

Well, the holidays are upon us and for some fishermen who don’t fish in the winter, some downtime, so to speak. Or, perhaps we should just call it a change in the work routine rather than downtime. Are you, or someone you know planning to repaint or refinish your boat this winter? Or perhaps you’re …

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Two fires: Good news — all rescued uninjured

It is worth drawing attention from time to time to events that may result in a vessel casualty on the one hand, but end with the good news that all crew are rescued and uninjured, on the other hand. In August, two fishing vessels reported significant fires — one 65 miles off Chatham, MA, and …

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FISH-SAFE: Report from the International Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference

Discussing weather, dehydration, more  At 47.5615° N and  52.7126° W lies the delightful coastal city of St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  It was here I found myself on Jun. 10-14 attending the fifth International Fishing Industry Safety and Health (IFISH) conference.   The prime sponsors of the event were the National Institute for …

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FISH-SAFE: Here comes the sun – Don’t overlook eye protection

As spring finally creeps its way into the region, I was reminded this past week of the Beatles’ song with George Harrison’s catchy lyrics: “Here comes the sun Here comes the sun and I say it’s alright; Little darling, it’s been a long and lonely winter Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been …

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Fish Safe: A look back at 2017 Coast Guard casualty responses

Sinkings, fires, dewatering, collisions, allisions – Coast Guard personnel respond to many different types of emergency calls. As we all know, in addition to these vessel-related calls, the Coast Guard responds to many crew-related calls as well. When a crewmember or captain is injured or not well, a mayday call can result in either a …

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