It’s no secret that commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous ways to make a living. With mother nature calling the shots, even the most skilled and experienced fishermen run the risk of encountering unpredictable, life-threatening conditions at sea. What’s worse, strict regulations and decreased revenues have increased the safety risks associated with this often thankless job. More and more often, small-scale fishermen are forced to down size crews and travel out in unsafe weather conditions to deal with shrinking profit margins and abide by ever-changing regulatory closures.
Sunday night, New Bedford scalloping vessel Hear No Evil reported that a man had gone overboard, requesting the assistance of the Coast Guard and other commercial vessels in the search for their missing crew member. Tragically, this crew member did not survive and his body was recovered from the icy Atlantic around 1am on Monday March 30. You can read the whole press release from the USCG on the online version of the Cape Cod Times by clicking here.
As memorialized by the Man at the Wheel statue in Gloucester, too many fishermen have met this same fate. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistic’s most recent data, fishing-related professionals lost their lives at a rate of 117 per 100,000 full-time workers—for a total of 32 fatalities in 2012. For many years this has placed fishermen at the top of the deadliest jobs list.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the crew of f/v Hear No Evil and the family and friends of the crew member who was lost at sea early this morning.