A new safety campaign has been launched in the UK to lower the fatality rate in the fishing industry and highlight the measures that can be taken to stay safe.
Led by the Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG), the ‘Home and Dry’ safety campaign highlights the simple steps a skipper and their crew take every day to ensure they return home safely. A film, available on Vimeo, accompanies the campaign.
Dave Driver, a Brixham skipper featured in the campaign, said: “I’ve been a fisherman for most of my life, and as a vessel owner I am constantly thinking about my safety and the safety of my crew. For me, wearing a lifejacket everyday was hard, but as time went on I got used to it and now it’s the same as putting my seatbelt on before starting the car.”
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s (MAIB) 2019 data shows six fishermen died in 2019. While this number appears low, given the small numbers of professional fishermen it represents, it is a very high fatality rate compared to other UK industries. There have been no deaths in 2020 so far, a trend the industry wants to maintain.
The Home and Dry campaign also aims to raise awareness of a new law for commercial fishing safety (ILO 188). This includes the requirement for anyone working on a fishing vessel to wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) whilst on deck unless a risk assessment excludes the need to wear one.