Women on the Working Waterfront

Capt. Lindsey Pinkham, safety instructor

Thu, 05/19/2022 - 10:00am

On the anniversary of the 60th year celebrating Windjammers Days and maritime history, we pay homage to our founder, Captain Marion Dash for her contribution as a female role model in our maritime community. It is her legacy that has inspired the Friends of Windjammer Days to celebrate the women who are working on the waterfront today who in turn inspire young girls and future maritime generations to come.

There are some people you meet and you immediately know how much they care. This is true of Lindsey Pinkham, owner and operator of Midcoast First Aid which provides United States Coast Guard approved safety courses along with basic first aid and CPR training for anyone and everyone who operates a vessel or works around the waterfront.  This includes merchant mariners, commercial fisherman and weekend boaters.  In addition to that she is the Northeast District Manager for Downeast Maritime, also a private training school which specializes in Merchant Marine Officer Licenses and Endorsement courses. The two companies work hand in hand to provide high quality maritime safety training.    

Pinkham comes from a long line of commercial fishermen and grew up on boats in and around Boothbay Harbor.  It comes as no surprise she chose to attend Maine Maritime Academy where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation.  During her time at Maine Maritime, Lindsey volunteered with the Castine Fire Department eventually becoming a lieutenant. When asked where her passion for safety comes from she remarked, "My grandfather was on the fire department and instilled in me that helping others around the community in which you live is something we should all do."

In addition to being a licensed mate, her expertise in maritime safety made her the logical choice to be designated as the person-in-charge of medical care on the bulk carriers, oil clean up vessels and tugboats she worked on.  Always looking for more, Pinkham went on to earn her captain's license.  Her safety certifications  are a long list and too many to include here, but certainly let you know you are in the presence of someone who knows her stuff.  Lindsey takes great pride in teaching mariners safety skills. “I do it because it lets me know that people in the industry are being safe and that they are prepared for emergencies - that they can help themselves and others if the need arises.”

Clearly the Governor agrees as Captain Pinkham was named to the Maine Pilotage Commission this past October.  The Commission is made up of seven members who are devoted to the safety of vessels, crew, cargo, and the continuing protection of the environment.

Lindsey's students come from all over the country.  Her enthusiasm is infectious making her a popular instructor.  “I'm the crazy instructor who gets into the water with my students in April, not because I have to but because I want to.” she laughs. One of her students who had taken her Ocean Survival Course returned a few years later to share with Captain Pinkham just how important the skills he learned were to him. He explained how he had fallen off the side of a tugboat into New York Harbor, “I could just remember your voice in my head" he told Lindsey, “Mind over matter, mind over matter, remember your training.”  He was later rescued by a passing vessel and credits the survival training for saving his life.

It is clear Lindsey holds herself to the highest possible standards, caring deeply about her students and the well being of all boaters.  We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber safeguarding not only Maine's coastal communities but also equipping merchant marines and recreational boaters alike around the country with her voice in their heads, “Mind over matter, mind over matter, remember your training.” 

Our gratitude goes out to Safety Instructor Captain  Pinkham for keeping many a mariner on the right tack.