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Safety Training Helps Fishermen Survive in a Dangerous Job

Thirty-six commercial fishermen and state agency personnel took part in a daylong safety and survival training course sponsored by Connecticut Sea Grant, Fishing Partnership Support Services, the U.S. Coast Guard, and UConn-Avery Point. The training began with classroom lessons on first aid, use of life jackets, and opioid awareness. Then the fishermen and agency staff headed to the waterfront for training in firefighting, making emergency vessel repairs, using immersion suits and life rafts, and use of flares to signal for help.

The Fishing Partnership, based in Burlington, Mass., provided the Coast Guard-accepted marine safety instructors for the training, several of whom are former commercial fishermen or served in the Coast Guard.  On its website, the Fishing Partnership notes that “fishermen are 37 times more likely to die on the job than policemen. And on top of that, New England’s waters are the most dangerous in the country.”

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends fishermen take formal training classes like this one at least every five years. Connecticut Sea Grant has been sponsoring them with various partners about every two years since 2000.

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