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3 Potential hazards of working on a fishing vessel

The fishing industry is an important element to the U.S. economy and a significant part of east coast culture. Commercial fishing vessels are the backbone of the industry, making trips out into the open waters to bring back hauls of fish and other sea creatures. But working on a fishing boat can sometimes be risky. Like in any job, there are certain dangers that accompany a job in the commercial fishing industry.



Generally speaking, fishing boats are smaller in comparison to their cruise ship and barge counterparts, making capsizing more likely.

Especially when waters are rough, it’s important to prepare your vessel and make sure you follow safety protocol. While fishing boats are made to haul large catches, avoid overloading your vessel. Fishing boat safety guidelines also often include rules on where to anchor and what operating speeds are safest.

Deck injuries

Not only is the deck of a fishing vessel exposed to the elements and high-reaching waves of the ocean. It also often contains machinery, tools, rope and other hazardous materials that make slipping and tripping highly likely. Not to mention your vessel, like any boat, will jolt and jerk in time with the waves, threatening to fling items and people about without warning.

Nearly 12% of commercial fishing injuries occur on deck. That’s why appropriate footwear, proper training and careful attention while working is crucial to any fisherman working on a vessel.

Falls overboard

Falling overboard is a hazard on any ship. But especially with fishing vessels, where workers are constantly hauling loads and using machinery on deck, man overboard (MOB) incidents are unfortunately common.

Life jackets, or personal flotation devices, are critical and could mean the difference between life and death in a MOB situation. When victims of MOB don’t survive, it’s usually because cold water makes them incapable of swimming. This means a life jacket can buy you the time you need for someone to help you.

Avoid a fishing vessel accident

Any fisherman knows the potential dangers that their job entails. But a slip up in protocol or a lapse in judgement could have deadly consequences. Make sure that you stay up-to-date on commercial fishing safety rules and regulations so that you can avoid serious injury while on the high sea.

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