Wildlife Recovery Boat Safety Training

This past week Tim and I were in Bodega Bay (at Bodega Marine Lab) to teach a Boat Safety and On-Water Capture Techniques training.  We were lucky to have an additional instructor, James Fitzgerald, who is the UC Davis Boating Safety Officer, and is extremely knowledgeable.  These trainings are meant to provide Wildlife Recovery personnel with knowledge on how to be an active and helpful crew member if they ever find themselves deployed on a boat as part of oil spill response.  In addition, in this training there is a large emphasis on how to keep themselves, and others, safe – this includes knowing how to rescue someone that falls overboard.  The morning was a combination of lectures and hands-on activities covering the following topics: on-water capture techniques, weather, useful knots, communication and risk management.  In the late morning the students wriggled into wet suits and braved a cold pool to learn to do rescues, try on and float around with different PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices), and to learn how to rescue someone in the water with a throw rope and a life ring.  In the afternoon we did boat rotations to reinforce what was learned in the swimming pool, practice using a GPS (Global Positioning System) for navigation, and VHF radio for communication, and to learn a few techniques on how to capture birds with a dip net from a boat.  All in all, a fun day for all of us.  Thank you to Tim and James for helping to teach and to all the participants for their great enthusiasm!  I plan on having more of these trainings in 2015.  Hope to see you there!

Kyra.

Richard and Dani catching decoys.

Richard and Dani catching decoys.

Learning how to rescue someone that falls overboard.

Learning how to rescue someone that falls overboard.

The group, including Oscar, the rescue dummy.

The group, including Oscar, the rescue dummy.

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