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Local Fishermen Cast A Lifeline To Help Save Lives

Hue Cox Weymouth Fisherman

11:02am 9th December 2014

Local fishermen are being asked to think about the importance of safety at sea as The RNLI hands out 78 personal flotation devices in Weymouth tonight. (Tuesday 9th December)

The lifesaving equipment is being given out for free from 7pm at Weymouth Angling Club to commercial fishermen.

The RNLI will be giving a short demonstration on how the lifejacket works and how to both wear and maintain it.  

Geoff Bright, Sea Safety Adviser at RNLI says: "Fishing is still one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and we are very proud to be partnering with Seafish and giving away personal flotation devices to local fishermen."

"This is a cause that we're very passionate about and aim to do all that we can ensure the safety of local fishermen at sea."

The RNLI wants to drive home the importance of PFDs to personal safety, but also to ensure fishermen are aware of the extra anguish not taking precautions can cause their loved ones.

If the worst case scenario does occur, and a body is not recovered, it can cause numerous problems, including insurance not being paid, complications with bank account closures and difficulties acquiring a death certificate.

Back in May 2012, three crewmembers from the Purbeck Isles fishing vessel lost their lives at sea and it's thought they weren't wearing buoyancy aids.

Funding for the PFDs is being provided from the European Fisheries Fund by the Marine Management Organisation, with match funding provided by Seafish and the maritime charity Seafarers UK.

Those yet to partake in the scheme are encouraged to sign up for a device by contacting the RNLI. Fishermen will need to fill out an application, bringing with them photo ID and vessel details.

Geoff Bright added: “It is imperative that the fishing industry does everything it can to promote the use of PFDs as standard practise for the sake of fishermen and their families.

“Danger aside, not many people are aware of the pressures that fishermen face in order to make a living. Quota, catch and number of days at sea restrictions as well as bad weather make it impossible for some to commercially fish on a full time basis.”

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