Wednesday, October 1, 2014

AMSEA Updates Guide to Commercial Fishing Safety

The seventh edition of  “Beating the Odds: A Guide to Commercial Fishing Safety,” by Susan Clark Jensen and Jerry Dzugan of the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, is hot off the presses, with updated information on survival at sea. 

The 250-page book tackles a wide range of issues, from reading the weather and handling fishing gear safely to fatigue, hydration and nutrition, putting out fires onboard and the importance of safe seamanship.

Since the first edition was first published in the early 1990s, it has been given to over 15,000 commercial fishermen in Alaska and throughout the United States in every drill conductor workshop taught by AMSEA, says Dzugan, director of AMSEA.

The new seventh edition has more updated information on survival equipment and procedures and first aid, an outline on safety drills for solo operators , and more examples of casualties from parts of the United States beyond Alaska, information on safety and survival related to warmer fishing environments and much more.

It’s a book that “every fisherman should have on board and should read cover to cover,” says Jennifer Lincoln, an injury epidemiologist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, based in Anchorage, Alaska.  Lincoln, who has worked collaboratively with AMSEA for two decades, says the training and education provided by AMSEA has proven critical in improving commercial fishing safety across the United States.

The decline in vessel sinkings and fatalities notwithstanding, fishing is still a dangerous industry to work in and commercial fishing remains the most dangerous job in the nation, says Lincoln.

The chapter on orientation, emergency instructions and drills gets into the fine details of vessel safety orientation, vessel safety and survival equipment, specific duties in the event of an emergency, how to don an immersion suit, how to make a distress broadcast, and more.

The softcover book and the 5.5 MB PDF download may be ordered online at

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