Almost 40 fishermen and others who work on the water participated in safety and survival training Thursday at the Coast Guard's Station Gloucester. Little did they know that session would provide a real-life safety incident.

According to Nina Groppo of the Fishing Partnership and Support Services, one of the participants encountered a problem during an in-water drill when his survival suit inadvertently opened as he was trying to get into a life raft and instructors had to fetch him out of the water.

"That's exactly the type of situation we're trying to prepare them for," Groppo said.

The Fishing Partnership and Support Services sponsored the training free of charge. Participants received instruction in on-board firefighting; flooding and pump operations; flares and personal location beacons; survival suits and life-raft equipment; first aid; and man-overboard and helicopter-hoist procedures.

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT