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Skiff Safety: Small Boat, Big Risks

It can happen in an instant. The weather’s turned rough and the waves are starting to get large, but there’s just a bit more to be done before you can head back for the day. Besides, you’re close to shore — what’s the worst that could happen? But then there’s a large wave, a sudden rock of the boat. When you’re in a skiff, swampings and capsizings can happen so fast that you’re in the water before you even know what’s happened. As we head into summer, we’d like to take a quick moment to look at skiff safety. We often hear about larger vessel disasters, but did you know two-thirds of vessel disaster deaths in Alaska during 2010–2014 were actually victims working in skiffs? In fact, the Alaska

"It was like we were on automatic..."

We got a phone call this afternoon from Seamus Hayden. He's the skipper of the F/V Clyde. That's the boat that hit a rock and sank south of Atka Island on May 11. He and his crew abandoned ship and were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard in short order. Seamus wanted us to know that the AMSEA Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor training that he and his crew received made a real difference in the outcome of this accident. Seamus said that after they hit, he knew they were flooding fast. He immediately told his crew to get the immersion suits and then got off a Mayday call. At that point he headed for the back deck, picking up the EPRIB, his InReach communication device, and a handheld VHF radio along

Stability: The Practice of Staying Upright and Watertight

Commercial fishing vessels, registered over 79 feet and built after 1991, if not load lined or substantially altered, are required to be assessed for stability. “Substantially altered” can also mean any weight change of more than 3%, a change of more than 2 inches in a vessel’s vertical center of gravity, or a change of more than 5% in a vessel’s projected lateral area. Alterations that change the vessel’s underwater shape, buoyant volume, or changes to a vessel’s angle of downflooding can also require a stability reassessment (46 CFR 28.501). Although these guidelines are enshrined in regulations, the regulations are difficult to enforce by regulatory agencies. Many vessel owners do not get

You Can Become a Marine Safety Instructor!

AMSEA's next Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Training (MSIT) will be held in September 23-28, 2019 in Sitka, Alaska. The MSIT is an intensive train-the-trainer course that prepares individuals to effectively teach cold-water survival procedures, use of marine safety equipment, and vessel safety drills. It also prepares one to teach AMSEA's U.S. Coast Guard-accepted Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor class. Check out the slideshow above for a preview of what's on offer. But, course topics include preparation for emergencies, cold-water near drowning, hypothermia, cold-water survival, survival equipment, procedures & onboard drills, risk assessment, ergonomics, and methods of instruction. Scholarsh

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2924 Halibut Point Road ~ Sitka, AK 99835

p (907) 747-3287 / f (907) 531-1756


© 2016 by AMSEA. All rights reserved.

Background Photo Credit:

echoforsberg via Foter.com / CC BY