Kevin Walsh is no stranger to the ocean. He has been an Able-Bodied Seaman, unlimited, aboard the R/V Endeavor for the past six years, but has figured out he has logged over 10,000 career days at sea in his lifetime so far. Unlimited means he is certified to work aboard any ship, anywhere in the world, at least at the level of AB. His responsibilities include ship’s watch, working in the “doghouse” when the instruments are deployed over the side of the ship, assisting with technical maintenance, and making sure everything is working properly aboard during his rounds.
Kevin was born in Newport, Rhode Island as the son of a multi-generational family of fishermen and captains. He grew up going to the docks with his father and grandfather, both fishermen. As a child, he knew everyone along the row and began working with his dad on trips in high school. Eventually he started working trips on his own, and the rest is history. Kevin spent the next 35 years as a commercial fisherman in the New England area. He is also a licensed Captain.
He remembers one time when he and his dad were working a trip: the boat experienced a major malfunction and ended up sinking. They were stuck in a raft, far off shore, for over 15 hours. It was a good thing it was summertime, the winters out there are unforgiving. They could hear helicopters looking for them, but none seemed to pick up their signal. Finally, the Concord flew over, picked up their EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), and radioed their location to near-by aircraft. A swordfish spotter plane signaled he spotted them, and dropped locator dye in the water. Fortunately no one was hurt and they were rescued later that day by the Coast Guard. Looking back, it is an exciting story to tell…a little different than he felt at the time before they were rescued.
Kevin decided he wanted a change in focus, and sent in his application to the University of Rhode Island when they announced an opening aboard the R/V Endeavor. He was hired soon after, and has enjoyed the travel that comes with this experience. He says since joining he has been around the world and seen some amazing things. His one of his favorite ports so far has been St. John’s, Newfoundland. He really enjoyed the people and the sights of that area, and even thinks he met some distant relatives while in port.
He now lives in New Bedford, MA when he is not at sea. He is the father of two sons: one works with a phone company after serving time in Iraq, and the other is the owner of a fish market. When Kevin is not at sea, he enjoys time with his family and friends. He is considering taking up a job ferrying people to their private yachts as a tender service at a marina after retirement…still racking up time on the water.