Fishing still a risky business –

Fishing still a risky business Published:  13 November, 2009

FISHING remains a risky occupation despite improved safety aids, according to the latest RNLI statistics.

The lifeboat institution said 150 fishermen had died in the past 10 years while working in UK waters and last year Scottish lifeboats were called out to 129 incidents involving fishing vessels. In those incidents more than 170 people were rescued.Now the RNLI is trying to promote new technology such as the man overboard safety system known as the MOB Guardian.

MOB Guardian is a satellite-based man overboard and vessel locator system, designed to raise the alarm when either a fishing vessel or fisherman gets into difficulty. In the event of a life threatening incident, search and rescue agencies, including RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews, will be alerted to the emergency within minutes. This system provides the RNLI with the position, course and speed of any vessel, or crew member who finds themselves in difficulty. This information is vital in reducing the time it takes for help to arrive on scene, providing fishermen with the best possible chance of survival.

The RNLI has  recently been offering advice to fishermen on the Western Isles. John Fulton, the organisation’s Scottish fishing safety manager, has been touring the islands. John Fulton said:’The RNLI is firmly committed to improving safety within the fishing industry, primarily by providing free safety advice. ‘As a former fisherman, I appreciate how busy fishermen are, and how their time at work and at home is precious.’

The RNLI said anyone who wanted more information should phone the  MOB Guardian helpdesk on 01202 663142.