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FISHING VESSEL SAFETY


SAFE BOAT - SMART BOAT: Abandoning ship – Boarding the life raft
(06-01-2014)
The crew made a mad dash for the life raft but wasn’t successful.  The flames and heat were far too intense.  The fire had started in the engine room and engulfed the living quarters and pilothouse.  Everyone had to abandon ship wearing their im...

FISH-SAFE: Overboard! How will you get back in your boat?
(05-01-2014)
Finally, it is spring.  The air is noticeably warmer and soon the water will be warmer too, but not warm enough that you would want to spend a lot of time in it waiting for rescue should you go overboard. The injury epidemiologists might bring ou...

SAFE BOAT: Abandoning ship - A step-by-step approach
(04-21-2014)
Even for the most self-sufficient fishing vessel, the possibility of a disabling mishap at sea due to a storm, grounding, collision, mechanical failure, or some other cause is a fact of nautical life.  Your safety and that of your crew depends on yo...

FISH SAFE - Winch safety study identifies emergency shutoffs
(03-01-2014)
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 emerge...

Safe Boat - Smart Boat: PFDs, grappling with fishing’s ‘safety culture’
(02-15-2014)
by Fred Mattera –  During safety training sessions in December and January each year, I break out the “Cold Water Boot Camp USA” DVD.  It’s a great tool for reviewing coldwater safety with fishermen now that the water temperature is a fr...

FISH SAFE - Winch safety study identifies crew hazards
(01-15-2014)
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 e...

Safe Boat - Smart Boat — Station bills: Know your job in an emergency
(12-15-2013)
by Fred Mattera – During a recent simulated engine room fire drill, I observed a seasoned crewman, someone who has been engaged in safety drills for the last sev en years, become impetuous and anxious instead of composed and thoughtful. By...

FISH SAFE – Lady Mary report offers sobering lessons
(11-15-2013)
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. ...

SAFE BOAT - SMART BOAT — Inspection, maintenance: Follow a schedule
(10-15-2013)
by Fred Mattera – It is the responsibility of the captain and crew to inspect and maintain all vessel systems constantly.  For me, a checklist was my means of tracking the maintenance schedule, so I’ve made one here to get you started. Sin...

FISH SAFE: Take steps to avoid accidental EPIRB activations
(09-15-2013)
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...

Safe Boat - Smart Boat: Electrical systems – Batteries, cables, safety
(08-15-2013)
by Fred Mattera – Batteries are an integral power source on fishing vessels.  They provide power to the vast majority of our pilothouse electronics and are a power source for alarms and startup and shutdown systems for main engines and gensets....

FISH SAFE - Follow mariner’s ‘three rules’ to avoid storms
(07-15-2013)
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 ...

Safe Boat - Smart Boat: Electrical systems – Vent, ground, protect to prevent onboard fires
(06-15-2013)
by Fred Mattera – Faulty or compromised electrical systems are a primary source of engine room fires.  These fires are often exceedingly hot, allowing you little or no time to manually extinguish them.  So, let’s talk about some steps you ca...

Safe Boat - Smart Boat: Know, maintain, register your EPIRB
(04-15-2013)
by Fred Mattera – EPIRB requirements apply to all commercial fishing vessels operating more than three nautical miles from the coast of the US.  Vessels 36' or greater in length must have on board a float-free, automatically activated Category ...

FISH SAFE - Prevent flooding: Keep an eye on your hatches
(03-15-2013)
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 dewat...

Safe Boat - Smart Boat: Using flares - Safe handling, firing, training
(02-15-2013)
by Fred Mattera – I am often asked what to do with old, expired flares or if I want them.  Actually, I do take and use them to conduct hands-on flare training.  I also tell captains to consider keeping an expired flare kit in a container mark...

FISH SAFE - Students redesign knives, banders, oilers
(01-15-2013)
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 ...

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