Fisherman’s Hard Hat

The weather deck on a factory trawler like the Alaska Ocean can be a dangerous place, especially when the huge net is being launched or hauled aboard. While mechanical winches do the heavy lifting, deck hands have to be present during such operations to attach or change cables, to secure or launch the trawl doors, to open the cod end of the net into the fish bins in the hold, and to accomplish a range of other tasks accurately and efficiently. To protect themselves while working on the deck, fishermen wear hard hats, earplugs, and other gear.
This hard hat was worn by Alaska Ocean deck hand Matt Prebezac in 2007. Like other fishermen aboard, he customized the standard white hard hat so there would be no confusion over which hat to grab when the call came to report to the deck. Using a black permanent marker, he wrote the words “Rock Star” on the back of the hat. This ensured it wouldn’t be mistaken for his buddy Ben Boyok’s hat, which was adorned with the profile of a hawkeye, the team mascot of the University of Iowa, in Ben’s home state. Throughout the 2007 season, the Rock Star and the Iowa hawkeye, with four other deck hands, a lead fisherman, and a deck officer, worked 12-hour shifts in two teams.
Object Name
hard hat
date made
Associated Date
Prebezac, Matt
Physical Description
high-density polyethylene (overall material)
overall: 6 1/2 in x 9 1/2 in x 12 in; 16.51 cm x 24.13 cm x 30.48 cm
Place Made
United States: Kentucky, Cynthiana
Associated Place
United States: Pacific Coast
United States: Alaska
United States: Washington
North Pacific Ocean
Bering Sea
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Industry & Manufacturing
Natural Resources
On the Water exhibit
Contemporary United States
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water exhibit
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Alaska Ocean thru Jeff Hendricks
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL

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