May 19, 2016

RESCUES Guide Book: Helping to make fishing communities safer

This manual contains step-by-step guidance that will help prepare individuals, groups and entire communities for crises affecting members of the commercial fishing industry.

RESCUES stands for ‘Responding to Emergencies at Sea and to Communities Under Extreme Stress’. The Information within the manual is organized into short, easy to read, chapters with contact information for specific safety personnel. Beginning chapters address important considerations for preventing injury and for family preparedness. Later chapters serve as a guide for dealing with tragedies such as the sinking of a boat or the aftermath of losing a crewmember at sea. The book is the result of three years of collaborative research and consolidates information from numerous community interviews.

Download chapters to the right or contact MIT Sea Grant for a printed copy.


"Fishing communities who use the information that is in this manual will undoubtedly be safer and more prepared to deal with crises when they do occur. [...]We are lucky to have organizations like Fishing Partnership Support Services, MIT Sea Grant, and Harvard School of Public Health here to help us"
- Coast Guard Captain Claudia C. Gelzer, commanding officer of Sector Boston and Captain of the Port of Boston


“To me, RESCUES is about peace of mind. Many of us who have been involved for years in helping fishermen and their families are in the last years of our working lives and it is good to know that the knowledge and insights we have gained are now gathered in one place for the benefit of future generations.”
- Angela Sanfilippo, president of Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association


"This manual belongs to everyone: the MA Fishing Partnership Support Services and their partners, the people of Gloucester and especially the families who work in the fishing industry. I thank MIT Sea Grant for its leadership on this effort, which will help protect the fishing industry that is so vital not just to Gloucester, but all of New England’s economy and culture."
- Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)

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RESCUES: Responding to Emergencies at Sea and to Communities Under Extreme Stress
Madeleine Hall-Arber, Ph.D., MIT Sea Grant College Program, Kristina Pinto, Ed.D., Fishing Partnership Support Services and Ann Backus, M.S., Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, EOME

RESCUE manual (PDFs)