Whether you are fishing for lobster off the coast of New England, scallops off the coast of New Jersey, or other fish off the Atlantic coast you have a risky job. You can't anticipate everything that is going to happen out on the Atlantic Ocean, but you can be prepared for some potential disasters.
Plan for These Scenarios
Before you leave port think about what you would do if:
- There is a fire. Is there equipment on board to put out the fire? At what point do you abandon ship? Who is responsible for implementing specific parts of the emergency plan? It is important to have an emergency plan in place.
- The communication system fails. What will you do if you can't communicate with anybody on shore? Make sure there is a backup plan in place for emergency communication.
- The vessel begins taking on water. How long will you stay on board? How soon will you put on a life jacket? Who will call for help? Knowing what to do can make the difference between life and death.
By thinking ahead you can help divert catastrophe and possibly save your life or the life of one of your crewmembers. Talk to your employer about your concerns and encourage back up plans to be put in place before your ship goes to sea.
Have You Ever Been in an Emergency Situation at Sea?
What did you do? What do you wish you had done differently? Please leave a comment on this blog post and share your thoughts with other commercial fishermen and maritime workers so that, together, we can pool our ideas and help everyone get back to shore safely.