On the Water

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.

ID Number:
Place Made:
Cynthiana, Kentucky
high-density polyethylene
6 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 12 in.; 16.51 x 24.13 x 30.48 cm
Alaska Ocean thru Jeff Hendricks