NEWBURYPORT – A nonprofit organization dedicated to the health, safety and economic security of commercial fishermen is planning a special free, three-day round of safety training later this month in Newburyport and Gloucester.
Fishing Partnership Support Services, which was founded in 1997 and maintains offices in four Massachusetts port communities, announces the following training schedule:
April 24: Safety and survival training, U.S. Coast Guard Station, 65 Water St., Newburyport, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
April 25: Drill conductor training, U.S. Coast Guard Station, Newburyport, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Safety and survival training, U.S. Coast Guard Station, 17 Harbor Loop, Gloucester, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
April 26: Drill conductor training, U.S. Coast Guard Station Gloucester, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A team of certified marine safety instructors will lead each program. Lunch is provided.
Safety and survival training will cover: man-overboard procedures, onboard firefighting, emergency communications, flood and pump operation, survival suits, life raft deployment and boarding, and basic first aid
Federal regulations require monthly drills on commercial fishing boats operating beyond the U.S. boundary line. Fishing Partnership Support Services’ drill conductor training prepares and certifies fishermen to do those drills swiftly and precisely as required.
Emergency situations addressed in drill conductor training include: man overboard, fire, damage control, helicopter hoist procedures 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 prerequisite for drill conductor training, fishermen need to have taken the safety and survival training within the previous year.
“We’ve been doing safety training with the 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 training is to prepare fishermen so well “they will know almost automatically the steps they should take in a dangerous situation and not lose any time figuring out what to do,” said Dennehy, a retired Coast Guard captain, in a press release. “Every second counts in an emergency at sea.”
Walk-ins are welcome on the day of each program, but preregistration is strongly recommended. Fishermen may preregister for the Newburyport trainings by emailing Lori Caron at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her at 781-635-0011.
For the trainings in Gloucester, fishermen are asked to contact Nina Groppo at email@example.com or 978-282-4847.
More information on Fishing Partnership Support Services may be found at www.fishingpartnership.org.