It’s no secret that North America has been experiencing a heat wave. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, July 2012 was the hottest month in 118 years of U.S. records. For recreational and commercial fishermen alike, this means fishing in the heat. As one fisherman aboard the F/V INTEGRITY learned last week, fishing in the heat can lead to heat stroke, a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. It is important for all fishermen to take steps to avoid heat injury.
Below are some tips for fishing in the heat:
- Monitor the temperature and humidity
- Wear breathable, cotton clothing and a wide-brimmed hat
- Fish under a structure, such as a bridge, whenever possible to avoid direct sun
- Use an umbrella or canopy
- Move the boat often
- Eat plenty of food
- Drink cool water and sports drinks like Gatorade
- Use effortless bait presentations whenever possible
- Consider wearing cooling hats or vests
- Use a spray bottle to mist yourself with water periodically
- Check in with other crewmembers or friends every hour for early signs of heat stress
- Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and learn first aid
Employers also have a duty to protect commercial fishermen from heat injury, such as ensuring crewmembers have proper training and equipment to deal with a medical emergency, educating workers about heat-related illness and having policies in place to prevent it, and maintaining the seaworthiness of a vessel to ensure its crew does not become stranded at sea.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while working in the fishing industry, visit our website to learn about your rights under maritime law, and call us at (800) 392-6072 for a free consultation with an experienced Boston maritime attorney.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers