Sandwich Offer Commercial Fishermen Opportunity To Learn Life-Saving Skills

FPSS news release:

SANDWICH, MA – Fishing Partnership Support Services is again offering programs in Sandwich to make life safer for those who have one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, commercial fishing.

Safety and Survival Training will be held on Thursday, March 21, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the U.S. Coast Guard Station, 1 Coast Guard Rd., Sandwich. Drill Conductor Training will be held at the same location on the next day, Friday, March 22, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There is no charge for either program and lunch is provided both days.

A team of certified marine safety instructors will lead both programs.

Safety and Survival Training will cover:

* Man-overboard procedures

* Onboard firefighting

* Emergency communications

* Flood and pump operation

* Survival suits

* Life raft deployment and boarding

* Helicopter hoist procedures

* Basic first aid

Drill Conductor Training prepares and certifies fishermen to conduct emergency drills at sea, as federal regulations require monthly drills on commercial fishing boats operating beyond the U.S. boundary line. Emergency situations addressed in this training include: man overboard, fire, damage control, and abandon ship. There will be an emergency procedures class in the morning and practice drills aboard a docked vessel in the afternoon.

As a pre-requisite for Drill Conductor Training, fishermen need to have taken the Safety and Survival Training within the previous 12 months.

“We’ve been doing safety training with the Fishing Partnership since 2013,” said Ed Dennehy, the organization’s director of safety training, “and we know from the stories that fishermen have told us, and from the letters and emails they have sent us, that these programs have sometimes made the difference between life and death -- and between a serious injury and no injury -- when fishermen have suddenly found themselves confronting an emergency at sea.”

A major goal of the trainings is to prepare fishermen so well that “they will know almost automatically the steps they should take in a dangerous situation and not lose any time figuring out what to do,” Dennehy said. “Every second counts in an emergency at sea.”

The Fishing Partnership encourages all fishermen to go through its safety training once every two years, and many fishermen do just that. “It doesn’t cost anything to participate and the potential value of participating is impossible to calculate,” said Dennehy, a retired Coast Guard captain.

Walk-ins are welcome on the day of each program, but pre-registration is strongly recommended. Fishermen may register online by going to www.fishingpartnership.org or by calling Lori Caron at 781-635-0011. They may also be contacted by email as follows: lcaron@fishingpartnership.org.

About Fishing Partnership Support Services

Fishing Partnership Support Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to the health, safety and economic security of Massachusetts commercial fishermen. Its membership rolls include the names of more than 7,000 fishermen, lobstermen and other ocean harvesters.

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