Commercial fishing ranks among the world’s most dangerous occupations. Nasty weather, a fire aboard ship, a leaking hull . . . if you work on the water, you need to know how to handle these crises and come out alive.
To help commercial fishermen and other mariners improve their safety skills, the Sea Grant programs in the Mid-Atlantic region are hosting a special safety program on January 29 at the East Coast Commercial Fisherman’s and aquaculture Trade Expo in Ocean City, Maryland.
Made possible through a grant from the Pilots of the Bay and River Delaware and the Maryland Watermen’s Association, the daylong program will be led by instructors from the University of Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program. The safety program will include both classroom instruction and equipment demonstrations. Mariners are urged to bring their survival suits for the pool-side portion of the program.
The safety program will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, January 29, in Room 202 of the Ocean City Convention Center. The first session will provide an overview of safety equipment, from flares and other distress signals, to life rafts, immersion suits, and air-sea rescues.
Safety experts will then discuss how you can control damage to your vessel at sea, including how to minimize flooding and keep your vessel afloat. Guidelines for fire prevention and control also will be highlighted, including a discussion of different types of fires, their control, and portable extinguishers.
After lunch, the program will continue at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Ocean City for a demonstration of firefighting procedures that can save your vessel and your life.
The last session will be held pool-side at the Sheraton Hotel on 101st Street. Mariners are encouraged to bring their survival suits and test them out in the pool. Raft launching will be reviewed and demonstrated, followed by man overboard and recovery, and dewatering pumps. The program will conclude at 4:30 p.m.
Cost of the mariners’ safety program is included in the registration fee for the trade show. However, due to limited seating, pre-registration for the safety program is required. To pre-register, please contact Joe Farrell, University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service, at (302) 645-4250 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Maryland Watermen’s Association at (410) 268-7722. The deadline for pre-registration is Wednesday, January 27.