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The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is to use surveillance aircraft to check that fishermen are wearing lifejackets at sea.

Tim Oliver of the MCA reports: "Wearing lifejackets or using a safety harness at all times was made compulsory in December 2018 on all vessels, unless a vessel has a documented risk-assessment to show that risks of going overboard are controlled in another way. The move is an element of increased monitoring of the UK fishing fleet that has been announced by the MCA to improve safety and well-being for everyone working on fishing vessels.

The MCA will be taking full advantage of resources and new technology – for example, the use of new fixed-wing aircraft with high-quality cameras onboard. It will use the aircraft to search for pollution at sea, and in search operations. “The planes will also be equipped to observe and report on the operations of fishing vessels which are not complying with UK legislation, for example the wearing of personal flotation devices (PFDs) and lifejackets on a fishing vessel.” said the MCA.

David Fenner, head of fishing-safety at the MCA, commented: “Fishing is still the most dangerous profession in the UK today and, whilst we are seeing improvements in safety, tragically there were seven lives lost in the industry last year, all of which could have been prevented."

The Harbourmaster recently assured the Trust that most Dunbar fishermen now do wear their lifejackets when out at sea.

Photo from MCA’s website.   See more at https://fishingnews.co.uk/news/lifejacket-aircraft-checks


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