Community Members Learn Sea Safety Skills in Searsport 

Commercial fishermen are required to have certain safety equipment on board their vessels, but survival instructors say pleasure boaters should too.Community members learned sea safety skills at the Searsport town dock on Wednesday. “Disasters still happen even though we have technology. We’ve got these great life rafts, but you still have to be prepared when you go out there,” said Cipperly Good, Collections Manager and Assistant Curator at the Penobscot Marine Museum. The Penobscot Marine Museum now has an exhibit on boats in peril, so museum organizers thought, let’s connect art to the real world.”The harbors just a couple of minutes from the museum, so let’s bring everyone down, show them how it’s done, and hopefully we’ll never have to do this, but it’s good to know,” said Good. People young and old watched the Abandon Ship Drill from land and from sea, as a marine survival instructor from McMillan Offshore Survival Training showed them how to survive a mayday situation.”First and foremost your vessel should be equipped with a life raft,” explained Marine Survival Instructor Don Wagner. But in an emergency, sometimes things don’t always go as planned, like this life raft that didn’t properly inflate.That’s why he says you should also have a radio, flares, and an emergency radio indicating beacon on board, and don’t forgot an immersion suit.”They are amazing you can float around for four, five hours. You’re fingers might get a little cold but you’re still warm,” said Wagner. “Demonstrations like these show people what to do if the weather, I mean it’s beautiful and gorgeous right now, but as we know in Maine that can change in a minute,” said Good. And the kids learned a lot. “It’s pretty cool how he used the wet suit thing,” said Keagan, a ten-year-old class participant. “My mom told me that we might go to Washington and my uncle lives there and they said they’d take me crab fishing out on the ocean, so I think that might come in handy,” said said 8-year-old Brodrick. “I liked how he demonstrated and he did a great job,” said 4-year-old Roza.To learn more survival tips or to find a schedule of other classes, visit McMillan Offshore Survival Training.