Newsletter – December 2012

 In Blog

M.O.S.T. Newsletter – December 2012
From the desk of John McMillan



As of October 16, 2012, the United States Coast Guard voluntary dockside safety exam becomes mandatory for all commercial State registered and Federally documented fishing vessels operating beyond 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline.

The safety requirements are based on different vessel size, operation, and crew status.

One of the requirements for commercial vessel is emergency drill conducted monthly by a certified drill conductor. The purpose of this requirement is to insure the captain and crew are familiar with the proper operation of the required lifesaving equipment.

Bad things can happen to good people at sea. It is a proven fact that a little knowledge and preparedness has made the difference in how people respond during emergencies at sea. People will respond to the level of training and common sense may not be enough to reduce the anxiety that will exist. The monthly emergency drills that the Coast Guard requires are ABANDON SHIP, MAN OVERBOARD, FIRE FIGHTING AND FLOODING.

Each emergency has specific duties that must be addressed in a timely manner. The best way to identify and perform these duties is to have previous knowledge/experience in the subject.

The following is a brief list of subjects which are covered in the F/V Drill Conductor program. Depending on the size of your vessel and number of people on board some of these topics may not be required for your specific vessel.
1) Abandoning the vessel
2) Fighting a fire in different locations on board the vessel
3) Recovering an individual from the water
4) Minimizing the effects of unintentional flooding
5) Launching survival craft and recovering lifeboats and rescue boats
6) Donning immersion suits and personal floatation devices
7) Donning a fireman’s outfit and a self-contained breathing apparatus ( if vessel is so equipped)
8) Making a voice radio distress call and using visual distress signals
9) Activating general alarms/Reporting inoperable alarms ( if so equipped)
10) How to conduct a drill

Drills are not difficult to perform and don’t require a lot of physical effort. However simple they may be many fishermen continue to rely on luck, common sense and the
Almighty to guide them thru an emergency. Commercial fishing continues as one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. These regulations have been designed to
reduce the loss of life at sea but fishermen must do their part and be vigilant in developing a solid safety plan.

If you are interested in receiving a dockside exam in Maine, you can contact:
KEVIN PLOWMAN @ (207) 780-3256
GERRY MOORES @ (207) 838-4440

If you’re interested in attending a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor training program you can contact either Kevin or Gerry or
JOHN MCMILLAN @ (207) 338-1603

New regulations that affect the commercial fishermen are never easy to accept. However,the purposes of these regulations are to prevent further deaths in the industry. For those that has lost someone close to them in an emergency at sea can fully support and understand the importance of these regulations.

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