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Northeast Center Lifejackets for Lobstermen!

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Northeast Center Lifejackets for Lobstermen!

  • Type: Safety at Sea
  • Location: Various locations, Various towns, Massachusetts and Maine
  • Date: April 01, 2019 - November 15, 2019
  • Time: 08:00am - 05:00pm

“Lifejackets for Lobstermen”

We’re proud to partner with the Northeast Center for Occupational Health & Safety (NEC) on their “Lifejackets for Lobstermen” Van Tour. The tour runs April – November and will stop at ports across Massachusetts and Maine. A one-time discount will be offered! Visit our Facebook page for updates on tour stops. Upcoming Maine locations and FAQ are below.


The Lifejackets for Lobstermen team has now sold over 500 lifejackets since April!
This week’s stops:
August 19 at 11:00 a.m.:      South Bristol – Town Landing
August 20 at 11:00 a.m.:      South Bristol – Town Landing
August 21 at 11:00 a.m.:      New Harbor – Shaw’s Wharf
August 22 at 11:00 a.m.:      New Harbor – Shaw’s Wharf
August 23 at 11:00 a.m.:      Round Pond – Town Landing

The vans will be set up from 11:00 a.m. to late afternoon – please call us at 607-422-7527 to check times on a specific day.

There may be changes to the schedule, so feel free to call to confirm.

Check back here, keep an eye on our social media posts, and watch your inbox for email blasts for information on when the Lifejackets for Lobstermen van is coming to a port near you!


What is the Lifejacket for Lobstermen Project?

NEC has been working with commercial lobstermen to find out what lifejackets they can wear while working; to be prepared for those unexpected events like falls overboard, which account for the majority of lobster fishing fatalities.

What are the Lifejacket Vans?

Two life jacket vans are visiting over 40 ports in Massachusetts and Maine over the course of 8 months; offering the ability  to compare popular life-saving devices side-by-side, and the chance for commercial lobstermen to purchase these at a 50% discount.

How can I find the vans or ask questions?

Visit this page or the project’s Facebook page for updates, contact project staff via email at, or call (607) 221-4448.

What is in the vans?

There are 11 different models of lifejackets and buoyancy aids available in the vans, with different wear types, buoyancy, and certifications. All the models have been chosen based on feedback from commercial lobstermen who trialed flotation devices and found them to be the most comfortable and workable.

Who can buy lifejackets at the vans?

We are able to sell, in person, to commercial lobstermen, and commercial fishermen with a bycatch lobster licence, with the 50% discount. Everyone is welcome to try on the different models and learn more about them.

What age do you have to be to purchase?

Ages 18+ may purchase lifejackets from the van. Ages 16-17 may purchase a device from the van with parental signature. Captains may buy for crew, but cannot serve as a substitute for parental permission.

Why are you only selling to commercial lobstermen or fishermen with a lobster bycatch license?

Commercial lobstermen in the Northeast have the highest rates of fatalities from falls overboard. If the project is successful, we hope local organizations or marine suppliers will continue the program and offer it to a wider range of fishermen.

Why are you selling USCG-approved devices as well as non-USCG-approved devices?

The purpose of this project is to find out what lobstermen can actually wear regularly and work in easily. Every boat should already have USCG-approved lifejackets on board, but generally fishermen are not wearing them. We are selling lifejackets that lobstermen have identified as being work-friendly, and the vans give fishermen the opportunity compare different devices side-by-side, finding what works best for them.

How much do the lifejackets cost?

The lifejackets range from $38-$240 retail; with our 50% discount, prices range from $19-$120.

How do I pay for the lifejacket?

We can accept cash or credit/debit cards. We cannot accept checks. All sales are final; no returns or exchanges.

How much is sales tax for PFDs?

In Massachusetts, 5.5% will be charged. If you have a tax exempt form/number, please bring it with you to the vans. It must be written on your receipt for sales tax to be waived.

The NEC is funded through the Centers for Disease Control to address prominent occupational safety and health hazards in agricultural, forestry and fishing communities throughout the Northeast. In addition to conducting research and developing safety programs, the Center offers safety training, health screening and counseling services to agricultural, forestry and fisheries workers.

To find out more about the Lifejackets for Lobstermen campaign, visit the project’s Facebook page for updates, contact project staff via email at, or call (607) 221-4448.

Funding for this program is provided by NEC.

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