Lifejacket offer for Welsh commercial fishermen

Fisherman wearing a Personal Flotation Devices A grant aid scheme is enabling commercial fishing vessel owners to purchase Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) with integrated Personal Location Beacons (PLBs) for £15 until the end of May
Industry Database

Owners of active, Welsh-registered commercial fishing vessels have been urged by the Welsh Fishing Safety Committee to access grant aid enabling them to purchase Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) with integrated Personal Location Beacons (PLBs) for £15, saving over £350 per PFD.

The discount has been made possible by funding received from the Welsh Government and from charity Seafarers UK and comes ahead of this year’s expected implementation of the International Labour Organisation: Work in Fishing Convention (ILO 188) into UK Law. The legislation is likely to require commercial fishermen to wear PFDs on deck whilst working at sea unless a written risk assessment demonstrates that they have eliminated the risk of going overboard.

Greg Phillpot, chair of the Welsh Fishing Safety Committee, said: “We identified falling overboard and drowning as the most common cause of death on fishing boats in Welsh waters. This equipment will address that directly, providing flotation and the ability to raise a distress call with the beacon providing their location, even whilst working alone.”

Applications until May

Owners of active, Welsh-registered commercial fishing vessels can apply for a grant-aided PFD with integrated PLB by filling in an application form, available from Seafish’s website.

Dr Holly Whiteley, Seafish Wales manager said: “I would strongly advise vessel owners in Wales to take advantage of this opportunity to access a PDF with integrated PLB for only £15 each now before the application deadline closes on 31st May 2018.”

The use of PLBs (or equivalent) will also become mandatory for small fishing vessels in October 2019 under the Small Fishing Vessel Code of Practice (MSN 1871).

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