I appreciated seeing Colin Murphey's photography feature showing our local commercial fishing crews engaged in safety training on Nov. 30 ("Fishing — the Most Dangerous Game," The Daily Astorian). However, the headline struck me as somewhat inappropriate for the content.
The Coast Guard holds a drill conductor training here in Astoria three to four times a year, and Oregon Sea Grant helps get fishermen signed up. These classes fill up regularly, both with greenhorns and fishermen who have been going to sea for years. I see this as a testament to our fleet's dedication to safety and preparedness. Oregon Sea Grant recently held two First Aid Kit Building workshops, based on Oregon State University research on injury prevention. We have equipped 10 vessels to be better prepared for medical situations at sea — where medical assistance can be hours away — and hope to hold more of these workshops in the future.
These and other actions that our commercial fishing community are taking to make commercial fishing a safer occupation should be celebrated, rather than held up to illustrate the dangers of the job. Despite the inherent risks, the crew of the F/V Courageous and other fishermen are training hard to increase their likelihood of coming home safe at the end of day.