A series of safety events aimed at all those working on commercial fishing vessels are taking place across Northern Ireland in December, reports Paul Scott.

The safety roadshows, which follow on from the success of last year’s events, will focus on first aid advice and guidance, and how to check lifesaving safety equipment such as PFDs and PLBs.

The events, run by the Sea Fish Industry Training Association Northern Ireland, in partnership with Seafish and the Northern Ireland Fishermen’s Safety Forum, will feature sessions on using a life-saving defibrillator, as well as information on Man Overboard Awareness courses.

Those attending the events will receive a new waterproof first aid at sea manual, and other free safety kit including rope-cutter knives and man- overboard ladder bags.

Fisherman Jim Young attended an event in Portavogie last December. “The roadshow was a great opportunity to talk about safety with representatives from the RNLI and MCA. I received free safety equipment which has enhanced safety onboard my single-handed inshore fishing vessel,” he said.

“There was also an opportunity to sign up for man-overboard training in Cork. Having attended a similar event in the past, I would encourage all fishermen to attend one of the sessions in December.

“It highlights the dangers of falling overboard, the effects of cold-water shock and the importance of always wearing your lifejacket.”

Sally Chamberlain, Northern Ireland regional manager at Seafish, said that more than 130 people attended last year’s events. “It was a chance to share information about safety training and other safety hints and tips with each other.

“It was also a lovely opportunity to have a chat over a cup of tea, and we would welcome anyone to come along again and pick up some free safety kit.”

The roadshows, funded by the Department of Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs through the Maritime and Fisheries Fund, are free to attend, and anyone working on a commercial fishing vessel can drop in at any time. The defibrillator training is available to anyone from the wider harbour communities.

Dates and venues are as follows:

  • Portavogie – SFITA, John Warnock Centre, Friday, 2 December, from 2pm to 5pm
  • Ardglass – fishmarket, Friday, 9 December, from 9.30am to 12.30pm
  • Kilkeel – Nautilus Visitor Centre, Friday, 9 December, from 3pm to 6pm
  • Toomebridge – Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-op, Thursday, 16 December, from 2pm to 5pm
  • Ballycastle – harbour office, Friday, 17 December, from 10am to 1pm.

For more information, email: sally.chamberlain@seafish.co.uk or juanita@sfitaportavogie.co.uk

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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