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"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 the way.

The boat flooded the engine room rapidly, killing the genset about a minute after the impact. The crew launched the life raft and the boat's skiff and they were able to throw extra water bottles into the life raft. Within five minutes, the crew was in immersion suits, off the boat, and watching from a safe distance. The Clyde continued to fill, then rolled and sank, bow first.

As Seamus said, "It was like we were on automatic...Everybody knew what to do and just did it." Seamus has taken drill conductor training, as has his crew. It's clear that he puts a high value on preparation and training. That preparation and training helped ensure that the loss of the boat did not result in a loss of life. We hate to hear about vessel losses, but it's stories like this that motivate us to keep offering training around the country. We know that marine safety training saves lives and so does Seamus Hayden.

Do you or your crew need drill conductor training? Check out our Course Calendar for a class near you or sign up on our Waiting List and we'll send you an email message when we have a class scheduled in your area.

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