Coast Guard Offers Fishermen in Northeast Training in Vessel Stability

BOSTON — The Coast Guard is offering six special training sessions on fishing vessel stability to fishermen in the Northeast United States this October.

The sessions are designed to help the fishing community and the Coast Guard partner to prevent fishing deaths in a region that has averaged four deaths each year since 2005.

The majority of regional fishing vessels are not subject to new stability criteria, and do not undergo testing. Current regulations require only vessels 79 feet or more in length and constructed or substantially altered after September 1991 to undergo stability tests.

On Oct. 6, the Coast Guard will kick off the training in New Bedford, Mass. The sessions target fishing vessel owners and crews and will provide free training on vessel stability and safe fishing practices.

“This symposium is a free offer to the fishing community to learn how to recognize the dangers that might cause them to sink or capsize,” said Lt. Jen Haag, the symposium coordinator. “Most of the fishing vessels in the Northeast are not required to complete stability tests. We want to help them recognize potential stability issues that can arise throughout a vessel’s voyage, whether it is at the pier, in transit, or engaged in fishing.”

The Coast Guard has titled the training series Upright & Watertight – Stability at Sea Symposium, referencing the focus on the stability and structural integrity of area fishing vessels.

Since 1992, more than 150 fishing vessels have flooded, sunk, or capsized in the northeast United States, resulting in 87 fatalities.

The New Bedford training session will be held on Oct. 6, at the University of Massachusetts School for Marine Science & Technology. Additional sessions will be held in Point Judith, R.I.; Shinnecock, N.Y.; Sandy Hook, N.J.; Gloucester, Mass.; and Portland, Maine.

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