The Virginia Institute of Marine Science continued its on-going efforts to promote vessel safety when personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard station in Milford Haven visited Gloucester Point on February 27.
The USCG staffers instructed VIMS researchers and crew in the use of the type of pump the Coast Guard would supply if responding to a sinking vessel.
Participating in the training were scientists from the NEAMAP program at VIMS, whose multispecies fishery research takes place aboard commercial fishing vessels in the open Atlantic between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod.
VIMS provides survival training to all scientific personnel working aboard commercial fishing vessels. Sharon Miller, Marine Safety Manager at VIMS, says “Hands-on training and experience with safety equipment, as well as conducting safety drills, contributes to individuals thinking as a survivor and not as a victim.”
Miller notes that commercial fishing is the most dangerous job in America, with a rate of 116 deaths per 100,000 workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 29 fishermen died in U.S. waters during 2010.