The RNLI’S Fishing Safety manager for the UK and Ireland, Frankie Horne, visited Anstruther Lifeboat Station on Friday and teamed up with coxswain Michael Bruce to drive forward the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation’s Lifejacket Project.
There are currently around 12,500 workers making up the UK and Ireland fishing industry where, on average, 18-20 lives are lost each year, making fishing “the most dangerous peacetime industry”.
Although many of these deaths could have been prevented, had the victims been wearing a ‘personal floatation device’(lifejacket), many fisherman believe that, because the majority of lifejackets are bulky and designed for the leisure industry, they can also create a dangerous snagging risk in the fishing environment.
In response, an industry-designed ‘personal floatation device’ has now been produced specifically for fishermen. It provides proper buoyancy when inflated and costs around £100 to produce.
In Scotland, the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation has pledged to provide Scottish fishermen with a lifejacket free of charge, once they complete the application process.