Tag Archives: PFD’s

Fishermen train for a rescue in an industry full of danger

The thick red neoprene of my survival suit pressed my nose flat against my face, as I flopped into the makeshift rescue rig. A winch above strained to pull me from the dark water. The rope snapped. I plunged back down, spat out salty water and bobbed to the surface. “And that’s why we do the drills,” said Matthew Duffy, a safety advisor with the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia. Duffy stood on the boat above me in Port Mouton, N.S., next to a sheepish captain who later vowed to buy a new rope. On an adjacent wharf, dozens of fishermen watched our mock rescue. >click to read<12:41

Falling overboard is the second biggest killer of U.S. fishermen, second only to vessel sinkings.

From 2000 through 2016, 204 fishermen died after falling overboard. Nearly 60 percent were not witnessed and nearly 90 percent were never found. In every case, not one fisherman was wearing a life jacket. “I think there is a social stigma against it. It doesn’t look cool, it’s a sort of macho thing. I also think there is a lack of awareness of the fact that there are really comfortable, wearable PFDs.” Jerry Dzugan is director of the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association. >audio report, click to read<16:32

Southwestern NS fishermen asked ‘Are you ready?’ as focus is put on safety heading into season

The Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council have been busy in the weeks leading up to the opening of the lobster fishery delivering man overboard drills, safety equipment demonstrations and safety messages at wharfs throughout southwestern Nova Scotia as part of their ‘Are You Ready?’ program. “Attendance at these drills has been fantastic, even in smaller ports for 10 or less vessels we are still seeing all captains and crews show up,” said Matthew Duffy, safety advisor for the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia. >click to read<10:53

WorkSafeBC launches campaign to address fishing-industry safety

“Drowning is the leading cause of death among B.C. fishermen…WorkSafeBC is raising awareness about the importance of wearing life-saving personal flotation devices (PFDs) in the fishing industry,” said a WorkSafeBC press release. The organization’s statistics show that there were 26 work-related deaths in the commercial fishing industry between 2007 and 2017 in B.C., and among those, 16 were drownings. To raise awareness, a new video, Turning the Tide: PFDs in the Fishing Industry, was published by WorkSafeBC, which recounts two stories about commercial fishing workers who lost their lives at sea, and a story about a guide who nearly drowned. Video, >click to read<08:39

Devestation – Seven drownings among Nova Scotia fishermen highlight importance of PFDs

Allan Anderson never thought his close friend, “a stellar tuna fisherman” of four decades, would be the latest drowning victim. The Aulds Cove lifelong fisherman learned of the tragic news on Saturday not long after Stevie MacInnis died while tuna fishing off the coast of Port Hood. The father of three was the seventh Nova Scotia fisherman to drown on the job this year. The 68-year-old Arisaig resident was widely regarded as a selfless community man. It’s unclear whether he was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).,, But Anderson also admits that he and MacInnis also represent an older generation of fishermen reluctant to wear PFDs themselves. >click to read<12:18

Researchers Try To Build A Better Life Jacket To Keep Lobstermen Alive

Early on a July morning, Massachusetts lobsterman Steve Holler and his sternman Frank Lenardis haul lobster traps out of Boston Harbor over the edge of Holler’s boat, the November Gale, and dump the catch into a holding tray. “It’s a dance between me and him,” Holler says. “Him getting that done, me getting this done, because with his strength, his weight, he’ll knock me right on my rear end. He’s done it a few times.” This particular morning in July, everything goes smoothly. But Holler remembers one day in February when a routine haul went very wrong,,, >click to read<16:13

More fishermen on P.E.I. plan to wear personal flotation devices

Some Prince Edward Island fishermen say after the tragic deaths of Glen DesRoches and Moe Getson, they plan to start wearing life vests on board their boats. Earl Gavin said he plans to wear a personal flotation device when he goes out on the water. “It’d be no harm to have life jackets on,” Gavin said. “I don’t now wear one aboard the boat. But we should.” The Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I. said it’s been getting more calls from fishermen wondering where to buy the right life vest and how to encourage others to wear them. >click to read<21:58

PFD’s – A case for life jackets for all: By Roger R. Locandro

Andre Penton of Fogo Island died June 27 this year in a boating accident on a pond not far from his home in Joe Batt’s Arm. The Fogo Island community mourns his death,  with condolences to his wife Rita, his three sons and their families. Although his death was not directly due to drowning, it brought back my own memories of dangers on the water.,,  People drown. Don’t take any chances on or around the water. I took chances and almost paid for it with my life. Some years ago, I was commercial seining for salmon in the Gulf of Alaska, out of Cordova. >click to read<22:49

PFD’s: Fishing is a deadly business, but many fishermen won’t wear life preservers

One rogue wave or false step, an ankle caught in a line, is all it takes to cast a fisherman overboard. But those risks have never been enough to convince Rick Beal that it’s worth wearing a life preserver. Even though he has never learned how to swim. Commercial fishing ranks among the most dangerous professions, but fishermen — fiercely independent and resistant to regulations — have long shunned life preservers, often dismissing the flotation devices as inconvenient and constraining. click here to read the story 14:46 

Shelburne company facing charges in lobster fisherman’s death – failed to ensure PFD met safety standards

A Shelburne fishing company is facing five charges under Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in the death of a lobster fisherman who fell overboard while setting traps in January. Little Rye Fisheries Ltd. will be arraigned in Yarmouth provincial court Monday. The case will then move to Shelburne. Jimmy Buchanan, 44, was working about 50 kilometres southeast of Cape Sable Island when he fell overboard on Jan. 7. RCMP received a call about three hours after the incident happened. click here to read the story 14:16

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