Tag Archives: PFD’s

OPINION: Deadly year at sea reminds us that perceptions about PFDs are outdated

If you follow the news regularly, you read a lot of sad circumstances. Families die because of carbon monoxide poisoning from their stove, people perish when their car spins out of control on a winter drive, or someone gets buried in an avalanche. There is no doubt that living in Alaska has more inherent risks than more temperate locations and Alaskans, in general, take more risks than their brothers to the south. But there are some risks we take that are unnecessary, especially when it comes to the fishing industry, which is risky enough without throwing fuel on the fire. click here to read the op-ed 08:23

Fishermen’s group pushes wearing Personal Flotation Devices

The Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association says the use of personal flotation devices in the commercial fishing industry is growing, but more work needs to be done. Melanie Sonnenberg, the association’s program manager, said she wasn’t surprised by the Transportation Safety Board’s latest push for mandatory use of personal flotation devices in the industry, a popular topic for years. “There’s been a great push with working with suppliers to develop products that are much more commercial fishing friendly,” she said. “We’ve seen a culture shift here in the industry. click here to read the story 12:34

Transportation Safety Board wants life-vests mandatory for commercial fishermen

The federal government should look at the success of seatbelt laws when it considers a recommendation that would require commercial fishermen to wear a life-jacket at all times while on deck, the head of the Transportation Safety Board says. The recommendation to make life-jackets mandatory was part of a report released Wednesday into the deadly capsizing of a 30-metre fishing trawler last year off the west coast of Vancouver Island. “There was a time when it was OK to drive a car and not wear a seatbelt,” Kathy Fox said following a news conference in suburban Vancouver. Three men died and one survived when the Caledonian turned over and sank shortly after it loaded what was to be its final haul of hake on Sept. 5, 2015. The person who survived was also the only one wearing a personal flotation device. Read the story here 12:15

Wanted: Lobstermen willing to try out life vests

ORA pfdThe Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety is asking New England lobstermen to help design a life jacket they would actually wear every day. It could be a matter of life or death. Researchers will visit Maine docks this winter to recruit fishermen to try out different kinds of personal flotation devices, or PFDs, for a month to determine which designs work best for daily use aboard a lobster boat. The lobstermen will be paid to test the life vest, and can keep it for their own use once they are done. “This isn’t about making lobstermen wear anything, telling them what to do or regulating anything,” said principal investigator Julie Sorensen of the Northeast Center. “It’s about making PFDs comfortable enough that fishermen want to wear them.” Statistics suggest it will be a hard sell, but well worth it. Researchers at the Northeast Center hope their PFD design study, which is being conducted with Fishing Partnership Support Services of Massachusetts, will help manufacturers tailor flotation devices to the lobster industry and convince fishermen a vest can save their lives without making them miserable or poor. In two years, they will return to the docks with the most popular design for nine-month trials. Read the article here 08:07

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation opposes compulsory wearing of lifejackets for commercial fishermen.

ORA pfdThe MAIB said that the four fishermen who lost their lives during three accidents off Orkney, the Western Isles and Pembrokeshire could all have survived had they been wearing personal floating devices (PFDs). With the loss of nine fishermen at sea so far this year, the MAIB said the rate with which fishermen were losing their lives by drowning was showing no sign of abating. Safety officer for the SFF, Derek Cardno said an industry-led a scheme to supply PFDs to every fisherman in Scotland had a strong uptake. He added: “We are not convinced that making the wearing of a PFD a mandatory requirement will make the sole difference that is required. “We believe it is much better to focus on education and creating a new mind-set among fishermen. Read the rest here 13:53

Transportation Safety Board of Canada looks to make fishing industry safer

marc-garneauThe TSB said the fishing industry has been on its ‘watch list’ since 2010 for two main reasons: use of PFDs and the safety of vessels. The hope is education nationally and locally will help increase the use of the personal floatation devices. Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said wearing PFDs is important and that his department has already looked at the safety of boats smaller than 24.4 metres.  “Stability of a vessel is critical as well,” Garneau said. “I’m ex-Navy, I know all about stability in a ship. We have come out with measures recently that are for small vessels.” Garneau said the next step is looking at vessels of all sizes, something that is not complete but which he says his department is working on.  Read the story here 13:18

Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board is buying 1,038 PFDs for its members!

ORA pfdLeonard LeBlanc has been a long-time champion of safety measures in the fishing industry.  The retired fisherman lost his five-year-old son, Matthew, in a boating accident 26 years ago. The child was killed in an explosion on LeBlanc’s fishing boat off Chéticamp.  “Since then, it’s kind of been my thing, to talk about safety, to try to help someone else from walking in my boots,” he said. LeBlanc retired from fishing last year, but remains secretary/treasurer of the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board. This month the group is investing in safety by spending part of the proceeds from its federal shrimp allocation on personal flotation devices. Read the rest here 06:51

Letters to the Editor: Lifejacket safety response – Live to Be Salty!!!

I stumbled upon Al Coddington’s “The Business of Business” column about lifejacket safety (published Nov. 5, 2014) and really enjoyed the advice he had for the woman wanting her husband to wear a lifejacket while fishing. The gift of a lifejacket could be the gift of life. I work for the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Alaska Pacific Office, and we are currently working on a similar issue: encouraging commercial fishermen to wear Personal Flotation Devices. Read the rest here 20:06 Live to Be Salty.org

 

Latest boat crash a reminder to be safe

Two shrimpers were rescued Wednesday by Terrebonne Water Patrol deputies after spending the night on their boat, which capsized in Tuesday’s heavy rain. Boat owner Dale LeBeouf of Montegut and his helper, Ronnie Blanchard of Chauvin, were found about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on the 27-foot skiff in Bay La Fleur near Montegut, the Sheriff’s Office said. Neither man was hurt. [email protected]

Are you a survivor like John Aldridge?

Ocean_Signal_rescueME_PLB1_M webJuly 24, 2013 – John Aldridge, a crewmember of the 44-foot lobster vessel Anna Mary was last seen aboard the boat during his watch relief at 9 p.m., Tuesday, while the vessel was underway off Montauk, N.Y. How many times have you read of or heard of a fisherman going overboard, only to watch an unsuccessful chain of events involving fruitless search and rescue operation’s to see them become possible recovery operation’s, and predictably, abandoned after a period of time, dictated by estimates of rate of survival and sea conditions? Way too many.  Scroll down the page to continued here

Pushing the PFD message with fishermen

Years ago fishermen complained they were too bulky. Too hot. Uncomfortable. And, many felt, not needed. But efforts are ongoing to convince fishermen that PFDs, or personal floatation devices, are not the enemy. By law PFDs are required to be on a fishing vessel and anywhere else where there is a risk of drowning. But sometimes getting fishermen to wear PFDs while they’re working can be a different story.  Some will. Some won’t. Read more