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Free Safety & Survival at Sea Training for Commercial Fishermen
Marine Fisheries Resource Center - Press Release

FREE Safety & Survival at Sea Training for Commercial Fishermen being held June 4 in Montauk

Register by June 1 for this potentially life saving daylong course


  • Antoinette Clemetson 631-727-3910 Ext 4
  • Barbara Branca 631-839-1763 (Day of event cell)

Stony Brook, NY, May 27, 2010 - Although popularized by phrases like “the most dangerous catch” or “the deadliest catch,” it is not an exaggeration that commercial fishermen put their lives on the line when they go out to sea to bring your favorite seafood to the table. On Friday, June 4 from 8 am to 3 pm, commercial fishermen are invited to participate in a basic safety and survival at sea training to be held at Inlet Seafood Packing House, 541 East Lake Drive, Montauk, NY.

During the free daylong workshop, fishermen will learn how to deploy life rafts, don immersion suits, give Mayday calls as well as learn life-saving tips about fire fighting, flooding and pump operation and the use of flares and other warning systems. The certified instructors, Ted Williams, Rodney Avila and Tom Toolis are from the IMP Marine Group in New Bedford, Massachusetts with training through the rigors of the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association.  Says Williams, “All of us have lost friends or family members. We want to give fishermen the right information and guidance through the seven steps to ensure survival at sea.”

Such an ambitious training session could not be possible without the support of several organizations notably the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) which primarily serves farming communities in central New York. Says NYCAMH Director John J. May, MD, “We receive support from New York’s Occupational Health Clinic Network and from the federal government to reduce the impact of occupational hazards in farming, forestry and fishing.  Both farmers and fishermen play an essential role in feeding our society, working remarkably hard under challenging conditions and experiencing high rates of occupational injury. Our goal is to assist in being sure that these people recognize the risks and are trained in proper safety precautions.”

Another partner is the Long Island Occupational and Environmental Health Center (LIOEHC), designated and funded by the NYS Department of Health as the Long Island center for the prevention and treatment of work-related health problems.  As explained by Linda Cocchiarella, MD, director of LIOEHC, “We work with NYCAMH and other groups to keep workers such as fishermen safe at work. If they are injured on the job, we can provide the medical care they need and deserve, regardless of whether they have the ability to pay. Fishermen have a very dangerous job and we want them to know there is always help available.”   

Commercial fishermen are asked to dress appropriately and bring their own immersion suits to participate in the field demonstration. Flotation bibs will be donated to participants throughout the day. Breakfast and lunch will be provided by Ocean Marine Insurance Agency, Inc.

Space is limited, so registration for this day long course is suggested by June 1. If you are unable to attend, there will be other training sessions in upcoming months.

For more information, call John Scotti, Cornell Cooperative Extension (631) 727-7850 Ext 223 or Antoinette Clemetson, New York Sea Grant (631) 727-3910 Ext 4.

New York Sea Grant, a cooperative program of the State University of New York (SUNY), Cornell University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sponsors research, extension and education programs to promote the wise use of New York’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Information on LIOEHC can be obtained at www.lioehc.net.

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