‘Home and Dry’- the campaign sharing vital messages about safety at sea – is reminding those working on fishing vessels 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.
“Don’t wait for an accident to happen to brush up on safety management.” says John Clarke, a Scottish vessel owner and skipper who was pulled overboard by a rope in 2013. “It’s not until I was in hospital, attached to a bed and having to sit through countless operations that it dawned on me that I was lucky to survive. It was at that moment that I decided I would do everything I could to ensure what happened to me never happened to one of my crew.”
Over the last 10 years (2011 to 2020), the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), 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) has launched its latest Home and Dry campaign 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 (PFD) on deck for if the worst happens
The campaign’s dedicated safety website offers helpful resources from a range of organisations, to help those working on fishing vessels to stay safe. It includes videos on how to do a risk assessment, advice on ManOverboard drills and training and how to wear a PFD properly.
The campaign website is www.homeanddry.uk