NEC lifejacket update: last call for 50% discount


COOPERSTOWN, NY – The Northeast Center (NEC) Lifejackets for Lobstermen program for 2019 is entering the home stretch. By the time the program ends in late October, the two NEC vans will have visited over 40 ports in Maine and Massachusetts during their 8-month run.

Stocked with 11 models of lifejackets and buoyancy aids, the NEC vans offer commercial lobstermen a chance to purchase lifesaving devices at a 50% discount. The vans provide a chance for fishermen to try on a wide variety of devices and see what works for them. All commercial lobstermen and commercial fishermen with a lobster by-catch license are eligible for the 50% discount.

According to project coordinator Rebecca Weil, the campaign addresses the issues that lobstermen have experienced when considering lifejackets. “We’ve been working with lobstermen over the past few years to identify user-friendly, commercially available lifejackets and, fortunately, we have identified many that lobstermen find appealing,” said Weil. “We have also discovered that choosing a lifejacket is really a matter of personal preference, so fishermen need to have a number of options available, as well as information on the various features that will likely meet their specific work needs.”

In addition to improving access to affordable lifejackets, the campaign seeks to make the process of getting and using lifejackets a positive, fun experience, says project director Julie Sorenson. “The Lifejackets for Lobstermen campaign is really more than just a mobile van that carries lifejackets; it’s about bringing the community together to celebrate and support a very important segment of coastal economies.” /cfn/


“I wear it every time I go out. ” Quotes from lifejacket users …

“The Stormline Flotation Bibs were a little awkward for the first hour, but then I got used to them … they’re really comfortable. My wife is happy I bought them. The bibs are the best ones yet: I’ve been fishing for 30-plus years and they are absolutely the most comfortable bibs out there.” — Nick Martin, Pleasant Point Gut, ME

“I wear a lifejacket as a precaution. If I hadn’t participated in the (Lifejackets for Lobstermen) survey, I wouldn’t be wearing one.” — Josh Fredrickson, Hingham, MA

“Everyone knows someone that never came home. I’d never worn a lifejacket, and I never really thought about it. (Lifejackets for Lobstermen) called me to do a survey and it got me thinking … and I keep thinking about it. ” — Fisherman, Phippsburg, ME (who bought lifejackets at the van)

“I fell between the clam float and the wall at half tide and was able to pull myself to the dock. It scared me, as I realized how fast you are in trouble. My cell phone died immediately; it just beeped – useless. Clothing made it hard to swim, just sort of bobbing as I pulled myself down to the ladder. I was in shock, but hauled myself up the ladder. A lifejacket would’ve helped me float and get out. The experience made me realize how often and how quickly you could get in trouble: I have a lifejacket in the boat, but I wasn’t wearing it. This led me to buy the Hyde Wingman at the NEC van, which I now wear all the time. I leave it in my truck and put it on before I leave for the boat. I fish in an 18’ skiff, mostly by myself and I wear the Hyde Wingman every time I go out. ” — Pete Haskell, Gloucester, MA



Northeast Center photo
Nick Martin from Pleasant Point, ME standing in front
of the NEC van wearing his Stormline Flotation Bibs.


Upcoming Lifejacket Van Locations
Monday 8/5: 11am-5pm Phippsburg, Town Hall
Tuesday 8/6: 11am-5pm Phippsburg, Town Hall
Wednesday 8/7: 11am-5pm Phippsburg, Town Hall
Thursday 8/8: 11am-5pm Wiscasset, Town Pier
Saturday 8/10: Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races
Monday 8/12: 10am Five Islands, Town Wharf
Tuesday 8/13: 10am Five Islands, Town Wharf
Wednesday 8/14: 10am Southport, location TBD
Thursday 8/15: 10am Boothbay Harbor, Lobster Wharf
Friday 8/16: 10am Boothbay Harbor, Lobster Wharf
The NEC vans will be set up from late morning to late afternoon (to check on end time on a specific day, call
More dates and locations to be announced. Updates will be posted on the Northeast Center Lifejackets for Lobstermen Facebook page:

Contact NEC at 607-221-4448 or