Incentives, Risks and Safety
Safety is a big concern in the fishery, as this issue of The Navigator illustrates.
Fishing is widely reputed to be the most dangerous occupation in the world. There are certainly long histories and many stories of tragic losses of vessels and crews. And the danger is probably a big part of the reason reality TV shows like The Deadliest Catch and Coldwater Cowboys attract substantial audiences.
So why are people willing to fish for a living, despite the dangers?
Essentially, people ...
It’s Not What They Say: Atlantic Quest I
Helping people in distress is something that goes back three generations in Shawn Tracey’s family.
His grandfather was the lighthouse keeper on the Strait of Belle Isle and his father was a radio operator for 35 years.
“That’s where my parents met in the late 50s,” says Tracey and the rest is family history.
Tracey is 53 years old and originally from Stephenville. He has worked with the Canadian Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) since September ...
PFDs: Pure Idiocy Not to Wear Them
I have a lot of photographs of vessels leaving port on the annual ‘dumping day’ in south west Nova Scotia’s winter lobster fishing season.
There is always one thing that stands clear — fishing boats are heavily laden with lobster gear, there are usually three or four men aboard and in recent years the stern has a ramp instead of a rail — it’s wide open.
A crewman aboard one of the vessels in my collection, when discussing ship-board accidents, stated that the issue wasn’t if ...
25 Seconds: The M/V Flare
It was only 25 seconds of time, but it will stay with Ann-Margret White forever.
White is 49 years old and from Corner Brook. She graduated University with a double degree in French and German. She started her career teaching high school French, waiting for full time employment, when her mother saw an ad in a local newspaper.
“This might be a job for you,” her mother said, “it’s a radio operator with Coast Guard and you need Grade 12 and French.”
Today she’s the Regional ...
Improving Maintenance, Improves Safety
Safety first is a term you hear often, but is not always practiced.
Although most vessel owners have safety at the forefront of their thoughts when operating their vessel, “there is always room for improvement,” as the saying goes.
One way to improve safety is to practice good preventative maintenance, to ensure your vessel is well-prepared for the season or the trip ahead.
There is often reluctance to invest into maintenance when there may not be any apparent reason to spend the ...
Three Pillars of Amendments to Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations
Transport Canada is in the process of amending the Small Vessel Inspection Regulations in an effort to stymie the number of accidents on fishing vessels, which resulted into 16 deaths three years ago, making the commercial fishery the most dangerous occupation in Canada.
The department has three objectives in mind to achieve this end: safe operating procedures, safety equipment and stability requirements.
Safe Operating Procedures
New provisions would require all small fishing vessels to ...
Safety Improvements Coming to Industry
These are sobering figures.
Between 2009 and 2013, 40 per cent of all marine accidents in Canada were pinned to fishing vessels, approximately 134 vessels per year.
Three years ago, 16 fishing fatalities were reported, many of the vessels fishing from south west Nova Scotia ports like Woods Harbour-Forbes Point.
Sailing in weather conditions not suited to small boats, a vessel stability problem and the lack of adequate safety equipment or training for vessel crews were all deemed ...
Boys Oh Buoys
Outside the window of a red brick building, adjacent to St. John’s harbour, sits a colourful assortment of large, metal objects.
Some of these objects are painted bright primary colours and others are encrusted in rust and barnacles. They are aids to navigation best known as buoys and no matter if you pronounce it “BOO-ee”, “bwoy” or “BOY” these brightly coloured pieces of metal are crucial to mariners.
Dan Pike, superintendent of maritime and civil infrastructure (MCI) with ...