Do Commercial Fishermen Need More Safety Training?

Last week, New Bedford hosted a pair of boating safety training events for commercial fishermen, according to South Coast Today. The training sessions took place at the School for Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth on November 17 from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm and November 18 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The programs were led by certified marine safety instructors and there was no cost for commercial fishermen to attend. The events were sponsored by the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership and the Coast Guard.

Types of Commercial Fishing Safety Information Covered in the New Bedford Training Sessions

The training sessions each covered different topics. The November 17th event focused on safety and survival topics, including the following:

  • Survival Suits
  • Helicopter Hoist-and-Rescue Procedures
  • On-Board Firefighting
  • Emergency Aid
  • Man-Overboard Procedures
  • Flares and Emergency Positioning Devices
  • Flooding and Pump Operations
  • Life Raft Equipment

The other event concentrated on drill conductor training, which involves certifying fishermen to lead emergency drills while at sea. Under federal regulations, commercial fishing boat crews must conduct drills each month if their vessel operates over three nautical miles from the shore. The drills involve crews practicing for various types of emergencies, including abandoning ship, man overboard and fires. Fishermen cannot take the drill conductor course unless they have completed a safety and survival training session from the previous year.

It is encouraging to see boating safety training programs such as these for commercial fishermen. Keeping these men and women safe while working on the water should be priority number one for employers within the fishing industry.

Latti & Anderson LLP fights for those injured in maritime accidents and their families, including those who have lost loved ones at sea.

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