Vineyard Wind to Sponsor Offshore Safety Training Courses for Fishermen in New Bedford and Martha's Vineyard

Fishing Partnership program provides life-saving skills’ training

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

Fishing Partnership Support Services has announced that Vineyard Wind will be sponsoring upcoming safety trainings in New Bedford and on Martha’s Vineyard to provide mariners with the knowledge and skills needed to cope with and survive accidents at sea.

Because of Vineyard Wind’s support, the trainings are being offered at no cost on March 8th and March 9th in New Bedford and on March 22nd and March 23rd in the village of Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard.

Vineyard Wind is developing what will be the nation’s first-ever utility scale wind energy project, to be located 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.  Vineyard Wind is based in New Bedford, from where it will stage construction of the project starting in 2019, and will have an operations and maintenance base on Martha’s Vineyard. 

Fishing Partnership Support Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of commercial fishermen and their family members.  New Bedford is one of four locations in Massachusetts where it has an office staffed by full-time community health navigators.

“The code of fishermen has always been to drop whatever they are doing to answer a Mayday call from a mariner – any mariner – in distress,” said J.J. Bartlett, President of Fishing Partnership Support Services.  “It is in that spirit that we are working now with Vineyard Wind.  We both want to do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of all of the men and women who make their living at sea.”

The advent of clean, ocean-based renewable energy projects, Bartlett believes, underscores the importance of building relationships among all offshore industries for the sake of those who work in these industries, whether they be fishermen, tour boat operators, or engineers. 

“A mariner is a mariner, and every mariner is welcome at these trainings,” he said, adding, “The teaching of life-saving procedures is a solid common ground on which to build relationships.”

Erich Stephens, Chief Development Officer for Vineyard Wind, said, “We are intensely aware of the dangers of working offshore. These trainings, we hope, will be opportunities to build lasting, cross-industry bonds that help all of us to be safer on the water. Beyond these two events, Vineyard Wind is committed to seeking ways for commercial fishing and renewable energy to succeed together.”

Stephens commended Fishing Partnership Support Services for the work it does not only “to keep fishermen safe, but also to help fishing families with day-to-day needs while also looking to the future of those families and of our traditional community-based fishing industry.”

The New Bedford Safety Training Course on March 8th and March 9th will take place between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at 706 South Rodney French Boulevard. The Martha’s Vineyard courses on March 22nd and March 23rd will take place between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at 20 Edy's Island Way in Chilmark. For more information, please visit www.fishingpartnership.org.

Vineyard Wind is partnering with Vineyard Power, a not-for-profit energy cooperative owned by residents and businesses of Martha’s Vineyard, to ensure that the Vineyard community is an active participant in the project development process. Wherever possible, Vineyard Wind and Vineyard Power are seeking benefits for the island’s community. These safety trainings are one result of that effort.

The Vineyard Wind project will be located in a Wind Energy Development Area that was designated by an inter-governmental, stakeholder process that began in 2010.  The company is in the process of obtaining state and federal permits, and is aiming to begin construction in 2019 and commence operations in 2021. The Vineyard Wind offshore wind turbine array will be located in the federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard, approximately 34 miles south of Cape Cod.

Vineyard Wind
Press Office
Vineyard Wind, sponsoring, safety training, fishermen

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