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Weymouth Fishermen Urged To Take Extra Care During 'Deadliest' Month

Fishing Boat

10:20am 5th January 2015

Fishermen in our area are being urged to take extra care during the 'deadliest month of the year'.

Figures from the RNLI show that more fishermen die at sea in January than in any other month and it's launching a hard-hitting campaign to make sailors more safety conscious.

RNLI figures show that 59% of commercial fishing fatalities were due to a loss of vessel stability leading to capsize, leaking or swamping between 2010 and 2013 - with 30% of deaths occurring in the month of January when seas can be rough and water temperatures are at their lowest.

Trevor Brooker, volunteer crew member from Weymouth lifeboat station, who is also a commercial fisherman, said: "I know just how demanding and dangerous commercial fishing can be, especially in rough conditions throughout the winter months."

"I'd encourage all fishermen to take a look at these films at RNLI.org/stability. They provide excellent, practical advice in an easy to digest format."

"It's easy to get complacent with boat safety checks and it can be very tempting to cut corners to maximise a haul. But these films highlight just how easily you can compromise your boat's stability by doing this, and the consequences can be fatal."

The campaign is targeted at fishermen who work on vessels under 15m in length, as the majority of fishing-related fatal incidents (73%) occurred on fishing boats in this category.

The advert will be displayed on an ad van driving around Weymouth between Monday 5 and Monday 12 January.

There will also be five short films which provide practical advice and use easy to follow animation that covers areas like:

- Leaks, overloading and the free surface effect2 of a loose catch can all make a vessel unstable.
- Keep your boat watertight by checking hatches are closed at sea.
- Tie down loose kit and keep scuppers clear.
- When modifying a fishing boat, get professional advice on stability first.
- Cut the net if hauling in a heavy catch makes your boat list.

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