The Life Jackets for Lobstermen program was created by researchers at the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety and partner organizations to address a perplexing problem: lobstermen often do not wear life jackets while working.
As part of the program, this spring two Life Jacket vans are travelling the coast in Maine and Massachusetts to offer lobstermen a chance to try on a life jacket, learn about additional technology that can improve chances of survival if they fall overboard, and receive a one-time discount on their purchases.
Rebecca Weil, research coordinator for the project, said in early May that more than 150 PFDs have been sold in less than a month.
“The word is spreading rapidly. We have fishermen coming to the ports specifically because the vans are there or chasing the van to the next port if they missed it,” she said. “Captains are bringing their whole crew to outfit them. Fishermen are calling to make ‘reservations’ at the van. They are buying a wide range of devices, showing us again that personal choice and a range of choice is important.”
You can contact the program here or call 800-343-7527.
Schedule for the Life Jacket vans
Monday 5/13 Port Clyde, 10am Port Clyde Co Op
Tuesday 5/14 Spruce Head, 10am Atwood Lobster
Wednesday 5/15 Owls Head, 10am Public landing next to Ship to Shore Lobster
Thursday 5/16 Rockland, 10am Fish Pier
Friday 5/17 Blue Hill, 10am Blue Hill Village Fire House
Monday 5/20 Bass Harbor, 10am Town Harbor
Tuesday 5/21 Southwest Harbor, 10am Manset Town Dock
Wednesday 5/22 Northeast Harbor, 10am Town Pier
Thursday 5/23 Bar Harbor, 10am Municipal Pier
Friday 5/24 Lamoine, 10am location TBD
Monday 5/27 Happy Memorial Day!
Tuesday 5/28 Gouldsboro, 10am Bunker’s Harbor
Wednesday 5/29 Corea, 10am Lobster Co Op
Thursday 5/30 Jonesport 10am location TBD
Friday 5/31 Vans headed back down to Massachusetts!