Newfoundland fishermen deserve same protection as offshore oil workers: union

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Fisheries union president Earle McCurdy says efforts to reduce response times for helicopters used for search and rescue in the offshore oil industry should also be made in the federal government's search and rescue service that covers fishing vessels.
McCurdy, head of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers' (FFAW) union, praised early recommendations by offshore safety inquiry Commissioner Robert Wells that response times for rescue helicopters in the offshore oil industry be reduced from the current one hour to 15-20 minutes to get a chopper in the air.
"Every minute counts during an emergency at sea," McCurdy said. "The North Atlantic is a harsh environment, and our members who work in that environment deserve emergency response times that are second to none. Surely the lives of fish harvesters worth no less than those of offshore oil workers."
McCurdy called on the federal government to adopt the same response time for its search and rescue service. The current SAR response standard is half an hour from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, increasing to two hours response time outside regular hours.
He noted that since the offshore oil industry began off Newfoundland, more fish harvesters have lost their lives at sea than the combined total of the Ocean Ranger disaster in 1982 and the Cougar helicopter tragedy in 2009.
"I fully support Commissioner Wells' forceful recommendation, and the efforts by offshore oil workers, their union and their families to improve response times," McCurdy said. "These are matters of life and death. Offshore oil workers deserve the best service technology can provide. Fish harvesters deserve no less."

Organizations: Allied Workers

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Jack
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    What the fishing industry needs is to be able to sell their catch to the highest bidder no mater where the buyer is at!

  • pete
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Finally some one is seeing this is not a provincial or industry but a federal responsibility
    Wait til you find out the oil industry is taking this cost off the royalities under the Atlantic accord and thus taxpayers f NL are paying for coverage for the oil industry workers Wait for the next accident in fishing or cruise industry and cant get a chopper

  • Jack
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    What the fishing industry needs is to be able to sell their catch to the highest bidder no mater where the buyer is at!

  • pete
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Finally some one is seeing this is not a provincial or industry but a federal responsibility
    Wait til you find out the oil industry is taking this cost off the royalities under the Atlantic accord and thus taxpayers f NL are paying for coverage for the oil industry workers Wait for the next accident in fishing or cruise industry and cant get a chopper