Category Archive: Safety

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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CME set to roll in New Bedford, Apr. 27-28; Plenty of interest for fishermen, boat owners

  NEW BEDFORD, MA – With show time rapidly approaching for this year’s upcoming Commercial Marine Expo (CME), event organizers have announced additional details of interest to attendees. The CME, set for Apr. 27-28 on the State Pier in the heart of New Bedford’s revitalized working waterfront, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the show’s …

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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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FISH SAFE: The RESCUE Manual

Preparation, response, and resilience in fishing communities How do communities, specifically fishing communities, cope with the news of a fishing fatality? What happens first? Who is involved? Who should be involved? How does the process move from first responders to support for the families involved? What are the short-term and long-term needs? The close-knit fishing …

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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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