Category Archive: Safe Boat – Smart Boat

SAFE-BOAT SMART-BOAT: Transiting unfamilar waters? Know how to read and use the buoyage system for navigable waters

Due to draconian quota reductions on groundfish in the Northeast, as we all know, many local fishing vessels have shifted their fishing grounds logistically to the south and southwest in recent years. From 2010 through present times, many vessels have bought landing permits for New Jersey, Virginia, and North Carolina – allowing them access to …

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SAFE BOAT SMART BOAT: Employing good basic seamanship skills for collision avoidance

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One aspect of the drills I often conduct on fishing vessels, has led me to use a DVD developed by the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education www.swagcenter.org titled “Communication, Navigation, and Mayday.” This really is an awesome tool – showing animated vessels performing and describing the rules of the road. It …

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Signal devices (flares) make you bigger, brighter, and different

I was prompted to review the use of flares this month after recently reading an article of a 60’ sightseeing vessel with 27 people onboard that capsized so quickly that no distress call was made. Fortunately, the life raft deployed – providing shelter for some of the individuals – and unbeknownst to them they found a …

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SAFE-BOAT SMART-BOAT: Don’t delay – It’s time for you to get familiar with the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) feature on your VHF

If you have purchased a new VHF radio in the last three or four years it is likely that you have a red tab, and red button under the tab, that will relay a distress signal to the Coast Guard.  This activates the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) feature on your VHF. The problem is, in …

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SAFE-BOAT SMART-BOAT: Keeping single-handed fishing safe and smart

Less than two weeks ago, a good friend that’s an inshore lobsterman called me and said “I don’t seem to be able to find or keep a crewman, so I’m going single-handed.  What would you recommend for safety equipment?” I recommended a Mustang Elite auto-inflate lightweight PFD and a PLB (Personal Location Beacon) with built-in …

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SAFE-BOAT SMART-BOAT: Development of commercial fishing vessel alternative safety compliance programs

The following is Part 2 of a column that began in the last issue.  To see Part 1, view online here, CFN May, 2015. —Editor The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 requires the Coast Guard to prescribe and develop, in cooperation with the commercial fishing industry, Alternate Safety Compliance Programs. The 2010 Act added …

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SAFE-BOAT SMART-BOAT: Time to grasp an understanding of new USCG safety requirements

In this month’s column, and a second installment to come in our next issue, I want to address the implementation of new requirements for commercial fishing vessels established by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 and the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012. These acts made significant changes to Chapters 45 and …

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SAFE-BOAT SMART-BOAT: Update on fishing vessel safety requirements

On Dec. 20, 2012, President Obama signed the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 (CGMTA).  This law made some significant changes to the US Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (CGAA), which established safety and equipment requirements for commercial fishing vessels.  The requirements in both laws build upon the standards established in the …

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SAFE-BOAT SMART-BOAT: Simple steps to avoid bad but common mistakes

Originally printed – October 2011 He was fairly new to trawling and he made a bad mistake.  Maybe it was a lack of sleep or physical fatigue that caused a lapse in concentration.  Whatever the reason, the break in attention was long enough for him to forget to remove his hand from the stern rail …

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SAFE-BOAT SMART-BOAT: Abandoning ship-Surviving aboard the raft

Wrapping up this three-part series on abandoning ship, let’s focus on surviving aboard the life raft.  Immediately after abandoning ship and gaining shelter in the life raft, survivors are likely to be cold, wet, exhausted and suffering from varying degrees of shock. Mental and/or physical let down leading to collapse is possible at this stage.  …

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