RESCUES: Responding to Emergencies at Sea and to Communities Under Extreme Stress
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RESCUES: Responding to Emergencies at Sea and to Communities Under Extreme Stress

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    Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the nation. Every fishing community has suffered the loss of men and boats, trauma that affects not only the individual families who have lost loved ones, but the community at large. To help counteract the cascading effects of such tragedies, we have developed this manual, intended as a compilation of best practices for fishermen, their families, and communities. The Rhode Island Edition relies heavily on the original edition of the RESCUES Manual (2016), but has added information that focuses on the services and contacts specific to Rhode Island’s fishing industry and communities. The bulk of advice in the original edition was gathered by interviewing thirty knowledgeable individuals: fishing community leaders (including selected politicians), Coast Guard personnel, fishing vessel safety trainers, clergy, social service agencies, fishermen and/or family members, shoreside business owners, insurance companies, and attorneys. Follow-up calls were also made to harbormasters and fire and police departments. Three main sections focus on what interviewees told us was critical to know or do before, during, and after incidents. In each section, information for fishermen and their families, the Coast Guard, and community leaders is highlighted. We suggest, however, that you read through everything. Throughout the document are quotes from the interviews that capture particular points of interest. We also highlight a few “lessons learned” from specific incidents. This manual has detailed information and contacts for services primarily in Narragansett and Newport; however, we believe that the general information is applicable to every fishing community.
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