The creation of the video comes after figures released by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) show that 88 people were injured or killed in deck machinery incidents on fishing vessels in UK waters over the past five years. RNLI lifeboats in the South West of England were required to launch 61 times in relation to commercial fishing-related incidents last year, rescuing a total of 94 people.
The video shows interviews with a range of fishing safety experts and victims of deck machinery accidents in a bid to improve fishing safety standards.
Jamie Griffin, former fisherman from the Isle of Man features in the video. He was the victim of a serious deck machinery incident in 2013 when he lost his arm after becoming tangled in a winch while operating the drum end. He said:
Deck machinery can be really dangerous, especially older equipment. Extra care should be taken while operating it and I’d encourage all fishermen to watch this new safety film.
Seafish has teamed with the RNLI to create the video. Founded in 1981 by an Act of Parliament, Seafish aims to support all sectors of the seafood industry for a sustainable, socially responsible and profitable future. Its services include technical research and development, responsible sourcing initiatives, economic consulting, market research and safety training for fishermen.
Simon Potten is the Head of Safety and Training at Seafish, he said: “The RNLI is one of our most trusted partners and its Fishing Safety team has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Having previously worked with them on a similar development regarding fishing vessel stability, this was a natural extension of our collaboration.”
“Commercial fishing is the most dangerous occupation in the UK. Seafish is committed to improving fishing safety and we deliver a range of projects and services to raise safety awareness and promote safer working practices.”
The RNLI are also encouraging skippers and vessel owners to apply for funding through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to help replace older, more dangerous deck machinery on their boats. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) administers the scheme in England.
John Gatgett, a spokesman for the MMO said: “The new EMFF scheme opened for applications on 18th January 2016 and this includes a large amount of funding for improving on-board vessel safety. The funding covers a wide range of items including guards on machinery, safety rails and bilge pumps. Applicants may receive funding for between 50% and 80% of the cost of the items depending on their circumstances.”
To view or download RNLI’s full safety video please click here.