Safety course participants included: (with certificates, from left) Caleb Soohey, Tyler McFarland, Spencer Gamage, John McMillan-Instructor, Matt Hanna, Nolan Gilbert, Eben Lord

Article and photos courtesy of Nancy Hanna, Logistics Coordinator for USCG Approved Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Training Certification Course that was held in New Harbor on 10/2/2021.

Student lobstermen from Bremen, Bristol and South Bristol attended the USCG Approved Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Training and Certification course provided through a cooperative effort between Maine Maritime Academy and McMillan Offshore Survival Training. The course instructor is John McMillan and it was hosted at the Bristol Fire & Rescue’s New Harbor fire station. The drill conductor course is designed to meet the safety training requirements necessary to obtain a State of Maine Marine Resources Commercial Lobster/Crab License.

In order for a Student Lobsterman to purchase a Maine Commercial Lobster/Crab License they are required to successfully complete this course and complete a fishing log that includes in a minimum of 24 months, 200 fishing days and 1,000 hours. Maine Marine Patrol reviews the students’ fishing logs at the completion of every 250 hours. Details can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/dmr/science-research/species/lobster/documents/apprenticebrochure08-17.pdf

The Student Lobstermen completed their training and were successfully certified as Fishing Vessel Drill Conductors on October 2. The class was able to complete the cold water survival portion of their training class off the family dock of Eben Lord in New Harbor.

This course has been approved though Lincoln Academy and the successful trainees present their certification card to the Lincoln Academy Career and Academic Counseling Office for a .33 trimester credit.

If anyone has any questions about the student lobstering program contact the Department of Marine Resources at 207-624-6550. If anyone has any questions about the USCG Approved Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Training Certification Course contact John McMillan at 207-338-1603.

Photos below:

Survival Swimming Chain in Action. Chaining up prevents anyone from separating after abandoning the fishing vessel. Pictured in their Immersion Suits are: Nolan Gilbert at the head of the survival chain linked to Spencer Gamage, Matt Hanna, Eben Lord, Tyler McFarland, and at the end of the Chain is Caleb Soohey.

The Survival Swimming Chain passing the F/V Ava Lucille resting on its mooring in New Harbor.

Waiting to board the Liferaft are from Left to Right: Caleb Soohey, Tyler McFarland, Nolan Gilbert, Spencer Gamage