It’s not too late

It’s not too late to make those New Year’s resolutions. Every year people think up great ideas for self-improvement and make a commitment in the form of a resolution to better themselves, help someone else, or improve a situation that has dogged them the previous year.

I don’t know if you have made any New Year’s resolutions for yourself, but if you haven’t, here are a few you might want to make. (Or you could add them to the list of resolutions you’ve already made.)

• Be a better leader and mentor to your shipmates. Encourage renewed commitment to safety.
• Upgrade your license or start renewing it early.
• Take some professional courses to brush up, such as a Bridge Resource Management course.
• Go through the company’s Safety Management System to refresh your understanding of it.
• Re-read the Rules of the Road because we all get rusty and need a refresher. Beats a collision.
• Check out your and the boat’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Replace bad stuff.
• Get new supplies if needed, including replacing lines and tow gear that have seen better days.
• Do a walk-through of the boat and gear. Let management know what you’ve found. Fix stuff now.
• Renew (or get it if you’re a straggler in the bottom 2 per cent) your CG Safety Examination Decal.
• Get healthier. Get a physical, if due. Stop avoiding the dentist. Beats a tooth ache or dying young.
• Eat healthier, lose weight, and cut your Body Mass Index (BMI) which will solve lots of problems.
• Get some physical exercise other than turning on the TV or opening the refrigerator door.
• Stop smoking. Let me say that again, stop smoking now.

• Wear your seat belt at all times, no DUIs and no road rage.
• Call and tell your family, your mother and your friends that you love them, so you at least can get a ride home from crew change.
There are many other resolutions you can make. These are just a few to think about. All of us have made New Year’s resolutions only to find them difficult to stick to or even remember. But with a little discipline and commitment you can do it. Do the best you can and don’t get discouraged if you fall short on a few of them. Keep on keeping on. When you improve yourself you win and others around you get the benefit too. Be “selfish” and do something for yourself. If not now, when? None of us are getting younger.

Have a great 2015 and make it your year.

Sail Safe!

About the author

Capt. Peter Squicciarini

Capt. Peter Squicciarini is a licensed master mariner and marine safety specialist at the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command in Portsmouth, Va. He has worked on towing, passenger, and fishing vessels, and was a safety and compliance manager for an East Coast tug and barge company. He also served in the Navy as a surface ship officer and commanded several warships. He can be reached at

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