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Factors associated with crewmember survival of commercial fishing vessel sinkings in Alaska
  • Published Date:

    Sep 22 2017

  • Source:
    Saf Sci. 101:190-196.
Filetype[PDF-404.80 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Saf Sci
  • Description:
    Occupational fatality surveillance has identified that fishing vessel disasters, such as sinkings and capsizings, continue to contribute to the most deaths among crewmembers in the US fishing industry. When a fishing vessel sinks at sea, crewmembers are at risk of immersion in water and subsequent drowning. This study examined survival factors for crewmembers following cold water immersion after the sinking of decked commercial fishing vessels in Alaskan waters during 2000-2014. Two immersion scenarios were considered separately: immersion for any length of time, and long-term immersion defined as immersion lasting over 30 minutes. Logistic regression was used to predict the odds of crewmember survival. Of the 617 crewmembers onboard 187 fishing vessels that sank in Alaska during 2000-2014, 557 (90.3%) survived and 60 died. For crewmembers immersed for any length of time, the significant adjusted predictors of survival were: entering a life-raft, sinking within three miles of shore, the sinking not being weather-related, and working as a deckhand. For crewmembers immersed for over 30 minutes, the significant adjusted predictors of survival were: wearing an immersion suit, entering a life-raft, working as a deckhand, and the sinking not being weather-related. The results of this analysis demonstrate that in situations where cold water immersion becomes inevitable, having access to well-maintained, serviceable lifesaving equipment and the knowledge and skills to use it properly are critical.
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