Special award in memory of fishermen

Whitby and District Fishing School'' Seafest5.jul07
Whitby and District Fishing School'' Seafest5.jul07

The Whitby Gazette and Whitby Fishing School has teamed up to launch a new award for apprentice fishermen in memory of the two crew who died in the harbour earlier this year.

The shield will be awarded in memory of Mark Arries, 26, and Edward Ide, 21, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while they were sleeping on the scalloping vessel, Eshcol after a 36 hour expedition at sea.

Even though the pair were from Northumberland, their deaths rocked the close knit fishing community in Whitby.

Anne Hornigold, the chief executive at the fishing school said: “Being a fishermen is classed as being more dangerous than being in the forces when you look at it.

“When they died they weren’t fishing and that is the awful thing about it.”

It is envisaged that the award will be handed out to the apprentice who has done something exceptional or above and beyond during their apprenticeship or for achievement and contribution.

The Gazette award will be handed out alongside the Fishing School’s own apprentice of the year award at the annual general meeting and presentation ceremony which is held in November each year.

Anne added: “At the AGM we have a pre-meeting with the directors which takes about 15 minutes and then we have the awards.

“The apprentice of the year always gets a certificate and a glass trophy and after that would be the stage where the Whitby Gazette steps in to give the memorial award.

“When we have our AGM we can write a report about the apprentices and the memorial award as well so they won’t be forgotten. It is a good idea.”

The two fishermen were found dead on the Eshcol on the morning of January 15.

A skipper from another vessel realised there was something wrong when he couldn’t raise the pair for re-fuelling.

An inquest a fortnight ago heard they had left the grill on to keep warm after declining a power line for a fan heater.

The owner of Eshcol, Tim Bowman-Davies from Wales did have some new heaters but hadn’t given them out.

A ruling of death by misadventure was recorded by coroner Michael Oakley who following the hearing made a series of recommendations.

One of which was making carbon monoxide alarms a requirement for all vessels.

Currently the ruling is that alarms are only recommended for boats under 15 metres - and the Eshcol is 9.9 metres.

For vessels between 15 and 24 metres having carbon monoxide alarms fitted is a legal requirement.

The recommendation has been backed by the National Federation of Fishermen’s organisations (NFFO).

The organisation has been working with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to try and ensure another case like this is prevented.

Barrie Deas, chief executive of NFFO said: “We are not normally in the business of adding to the regulatory burden on fishermen but the minimal cost involved in fitting an alarm and the catastrophic consequences of CO poisoning has persuaded us that an obligation to fit a detector should be included in the new code of practice.”

The NFFO’s Safety and Training Officer, Robert Greenwood, added: “This is a tragic incident, which unfortunately isn’t as rare as we’d hope it to be. “But, one simple change could have avoided it: the installation of a carbon monoxide alarm.