Category Archive: Safety

FISH SAFE: To tow or not to tow, that is the question

This is the time of year, perhaps more than any other, when fishermen get into distressful situations. Throughout our region, the water is cold, the weather is variable, the air temperature freezes spray onto the windows, rails, decks, and superstructures, and the sea turns its grayest faces and fiercest crests toward us. The captain seeks …

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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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FISH SAFE: The heart of the matter – AEDs on the waterfront

Since taking my CPR/AED (cardiopulmonary resuscitation-automated external defibrillator) certification in July, I have tried to be aware of where AEDs/defibrillators are located. The intention to look for them has to be “trained-in” as they are not as readily available or as obvious as fire extinguishers. Yet should you need one, knowing its whereabouts could save …

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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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Jason Joyce wants you to see the light – and stay afloat

SWANS ISLAND, ME – Lobsterman Jason Joyce didn’t get into selling LED lights because he was looking for a side business … he simply wanted to be able to see what he was doing when it was dark. After experimenting with numerous types of bulbs from different suppliers, Jason happen to connect with the right …

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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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FISH SAFE: A float plan and other documents to aid in event of search and rescue

We are always looking for ways to reduce fisherman risks and ensure efficient search and rescue operations. Here are some suggestions for actions that any captain and crew can take prior to leaving the dock that could make a significant difference in the timeliness of a rescue if later needed. First, the captain could provide …

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FISH SAFE: Getting safely back out on the water after a winter haul-out

In the February 2015 issue of CFN, Fred Mattera wrote a SAFE BOAT-SMART BOAT column on inspection and maintenance. Here is a follow-up article that reviews some steps for a smooth and safe return to a new season of fishing after being being hauled out over winter, or a simply after a period of vessel …

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