Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

Seafish has published new advice for fishermen who have bought or are planning to buy a Personal Location Beacon (PLB) through their funding scheme.

Seafish is administering funding from Trinity House, Department for Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to help commercial fishing vessel owners buy safety equipment for their crew.

Applicants can receive £200 per item towards the cost of a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) with an integrated Personal Location Beacon (PLB) or a PLB on its own.

At the beginning of August, Seafish released a video with tips on how to attach a PLB to a PFD. While the video was clear that people should check the instructions from the manufacturer before fitting a PLB, some of the other tips provided were inappropriate.

Seafish says, “Our intention was to make sure that fishermen were fitting their PLBs correctly. We understand that the best advice we can give is advise people to contact either the manufacturer (or their approved servicing agent) of their PFDs and PLBs for support.

“When we were alerted to this issue, we took immediate steps to remove the video from our YouTube channel and the two associated Twitter posts. We have published the advice on contacting manufacturers on our website.

“We are in the process of contacting the 144 fishing vessel owners who have purchased a PLB with support from the scheme to ensure they are aware of this advice and Seafish will cover the cost of getting their PFD and PLB serviced by an approved agent.

“We apologise for any confusion this video may have caused to fishermen over the short time it was live. The video had featured a Mullion lifejacket so we also offer our apologies to Mullion.

“Keeping people safe on fishing vessels is hugely important to us and we will strive to keep doing everything we can to make the fishing industry safer.”

A spokesperson for Mullion said, “We wish to alert you to the fact that a Seafish video has been circulated and tweeted recently promoting incorrect and unsafe retro-fitting of the Ocean Signal PLB1 product to the Mullion Compact lifejacket.

“This was entirely without our, Mullion’s knowledge or endorsement.

“The original video has now been taken down at Mullion’s request and a new message published on the Seafish website. See links below and copies attached.

“If you are the owner of a PFD/PLB that is affected by this please make contact ASAP as appropriate below to have your product rectified and correctly fitted.”

Manufacturer contact details are as follows :

For Mullion lifejackets please contact:

In Ireland:

In the UK contact any of the below service centres:

  • MarineCo, Gilston Road, Saltash Industrial Estate, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6LF:  Tel: 01752 843698; or email: sales@marineco.co.uk
  • Norwest Marine Ltd, Unit 43 Wellington Employment Park, Dunes Way, Liverpool, L5 9RJ:  Tel: 0151 2072860; or email: help@norwestmarine.co.uk
  • Simon Safety & Lifting Centre Ltd, Unit 73, Honeyborough Business Park. Neyland, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, SA73 1SE: Tel: 01646 600750; or email: simon@simon-safety.co.uk

For Crewsaver lifejackets please contact one of their Service Centres via: https://survitecgroup.com/service-stations/

For other brands of lifejackets please contact the relevant manufacturer or their Service Centre network directly.

Full details on the safety update can be found at: https://www.seafish.org/article/important-safety-update-about-personal-location-beacons

For further details on UK funding for PFDs with PLBs visit: https://www.seafish.org/article/funding-for-pfds-with-plbs