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Sea-Survival Course in Woods Hole, MA: You Want Me to Do What?

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Bill Waite helps Sarah Fuller into the life raft
Bill Waite helps Sarah Fuller into the life raft. Other students from the USGS' Woods Hole Field Center are bobbing nearby.
On April 26, Woods Hole Field Center (WHFC) staff, including Sarah Fuller, Erika Hammar-Klose, Dave Mason, Caroline Roberts, Kathy Scanlon, Rob Thieler, Dave Twichell, and Bill Waite, willingly jumped from a Woods Hole, MA, dock into chilly New England water—wearing "Gumby suits" (cold-water survival suits), of course!

This exercise was the culmination of a daylong course called "Sea Survival for Oceanographic Scientists," offered by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)'s Safety Office. The course was taught by Joe Murphy and Ken Irving (Massachusetts Maritime Academy), Steve Trimmer (Maritime Training International), Joe Mokry (Ocean Rescue Systems), and Chuck Carter (U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer).

The morning classroom session consisted of lectures on general boat safety, hypothermia safety, and fire safety. The hands-on afternoon session included practice with fire extinguishers, the ins and outs of a PFD (personal flotation device), how to enter the water safely while wearing a PFD, and, finally, the jump off the dock. The eight WHFC folks donned some pretty old "Gumby suits," many of which had a few leaks. Once in the water, the group learned how to maneuver in a suit, how to paddle around individually and in a train, and, finally, how to enter a life raft. It was a challenging and fun course that is now highly recommended for all seagoing staff.

Woods Hole Field Center scientists and their Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution colleagues prepare to leave the dock
Woods Hole Field Center scientists and their Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution colleagues prepare to leave the dock.

Related Web Sites
Woods Hole Field Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Safety Office
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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in this issue: Fieldwork cover story:
Sea Otter Numbers Slide for Second Straight Year

Lake Mead Sediment Study

Salmon & Trout Habitat

Outreach Students Tour M/V Auriga

Williams' Presentation on Videotape

Meetings Benthic-Habitat Symposium

Caribbean Climate Change Conference

Regional Syntheses

Scientists Speak in Reston & D.C.

Awards Remote-Sensing Conference

Staff & Center News Sea-Survival Course

Regional Geologist Visits WHFC

New WHFC Employees

New Student Interns

WHFC Labs Pass Audit

Award-Winning Student Volunteer

Publications Contaminated Sediment - Special Issue of Continental Shelf Research

July Publications List U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
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