Washington Sea Grant based at the University of Washington has passed a lifesaving milestone: its field agents conducted their 100th Coast Guard-certified Safety at Sea class for tribal and commercial fishers, teaching them how to survive the mishaps and disasters that have claimed hundreds of lives in Washington’s turbulent waters.

Fittingly enough, this two-day class was held as rain poured and the wind raged up to 40 miles per hour. Even more fittingly, it was held at the Makah Tribal Reservation at Neah Bay, at the far corner of the Olympic Peninsula, site of one of the safety program’s most conspicuous successes. In 2012 three Makah fishermen survived a nighttime crash by following the mayday and evacuation procedures they’d learned in a Sea Grant class just one month earlier.

Read more on UW Today.

Students wearing survival suits climb into a covered life raft during a drill.
E. Olsson/Washington Sea Grant