2019 Fishers Island School’s Ferry Safety Orientation

Sr. Deckhand Kris Dorsett, Captain Chris Newell, Asst. Marine Ops Manager & Captain Jon Haney, Summer Deckhand Ian Tirabassi, Captain Ryan Healy, and Marine Operations Manager RJ Burns led the introduction.

The Fishers Island Ferry District held the annual Ferry Safety Drill with the Fishers Island School on September 18, 2019. The M/V Munnatawket came to Silver Eel for the better part of the morning and hosted the students by class groups.

As each group arrived they were greeted by the captains and crew who shared their professional backgrounds and passions – ranging from a submarine navigator and engineer to deep-sea fisherman and more.

Throughout, click any photo to see a larger image.
Photo Credit: Jane T. Ahrens

Crew members discussed the location and different sizes of PFDs (personal flotation device) and demonstrated how to don a life jacket. Then the students partnered up and put them on, assisting each other as needed.

The captains also explained:

  • When one would expect to use the life jackets under the direction of the crew
  • Rules including no running or climbing aboard the ferries
  • Winter conditions mean a longer route and transit time so expect a slightly different course depending on the weather – sometimes we see the north side of New London lighthouse!
  • Clean up after yourself (snacks, drinks, paper, recycle) and the lost and found
  • Walk only in designated areas (yellow walkways and on the sidewalk)
  • Ask a boat teacher if you are unclear about something or feel uncomfortable or “see” something. If no teacher available then see a crew member.
  • Important: being on time to catch the boats helps us keep a schedule and prevents accidents

Visit to the Bridge

  • Basic navigation, our route, distance, time, etc.
  • Route is approximately 7 nautical miles, traveling at approximately 10 knots = 6-7 mins/mile
  • Functions of each electronic device: plotter/radar/sounder/radios

Visit to the top of Munnatawket called the Hurricane Deck

  • How the IBA’s launch and inflate
  • Point out the MOB ladder and Shepard’s pole
  • Life rings and strobes, EPIRB
  • Where to go in case of fire/abandon ship/MOB
  • Have some of the eldest students from each group don the immersion suit

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