New fishing industry campaign looking to reduce the risks of people falling overboard

A new man overboard prevention campaign has been launched after data showed 85% of fatalities in the fishing industry involve people ending up in the water

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 11:30 am
The ‘Home and Dry’ campaign is reminding those working on fishing vessels in England to take three simple steps to reduce the risk of death from falling overboard.

‘Home and Dry’ is reminding those working on fishing vessels in England to take three simple steps to reduce the risk of death from falling overboard.

Over the recent winter, seven fishermen tragically lost their lives whilst working on fishing vessels, devastating fishing communities around the UK. Six of those fatal incidents saw fishermen ending up in the water.

Falling overboard is a major cause of death in the fishing industry. 85% of deaths involve people ending up in the water and 42% of all deaths are recorded as man overboard incidents.

Over the last 10 years (2011 to 2020), the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, reported 60 fatalities from UK fishing vessels and 51 of those ended up in water. 25 deaths were recorded as man overboard incidents. The highest number of fatalities is on vessels under 15 metres.

The Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG) campaign is focused on prevention of man overboard incidents.

To help reduce deaths at sea from falling overboard, the campaign is reminding those who work on fishing vessels to take three simple steps:

○ Complete a written risk assessment and review regularly

○ Practise Man Overboard drills regularly

○ Always wear a Personal Flotation Device on deck for if the worst happens

Andrew Locker, safety officer at the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations which is a member of FISG, said: “This campaign is coming at a crucial time for the fishing industry, with seven fishermen losing their lives over winter we want to ensure fishermen are doing everything they can to keep themselves safe at sea.

“It’s also important to remind vessel owners and skippers that some safety actions are required by law - such as the written risk assessments and wearing a PFD on deck. As the weather gets warmer and smaller boats get ready to get back out to sea, we’re asking fishermen to take a moment to see if they could do more to improve safety practices on their vessels.”

Visit www.homeanddry.uk to find out more about the campaign.