Before heading out to sea, researchers practice for emergencies

Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Group of people wearing lifejackets huddle in a circle in a pool

Photo by Valerie Tillinghast.

The engineering tank in Chase Ocean Engineering Lab is no match for the chilly offshore waters of the Gulf of Maine, but it stood in ably for a recent offshore marine survival class hosted by the Center for Acoustics Research and Education (CARE). UNH graduate students, faculty and staff joined some commercial fishermen who collaborate with CARE for the day-long course, run by Fathom Resources.

men in survival suits
CCOM's Andy McLeod, left, and Avery Muñoz model survival suits. (Valerie Tillinghast photo)

Participants practiced abandon ship drills (pictured), fire drills and signals, life raft training and survival suit training (modeled here by Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping research project manager Andy McLeod, left, and research project engineer Avery Muñoz).

“This course saves lives,” says CARE director Jennifer Miksis-Olds, noting that survival time in winter Gulf of Maine waters is no longer than ten minutes. “Knowing what to do in an emergency at sea and having experience with the safety equipment when you’re far from immediate help increases your chance of survival.”