Although the Coastguard save hundreds of lives, there are still around 160 lives lost at the coast every year. In the UK alone, there were 168 accidental drowning and coastal fatalities in 2015. Guernsey Coastguard and the RNLI want to change these statistics by raising awareness. As part of our COMMUNITY SAFETY campaign, we will be highlighting the risks associated with a range of different sea based activities.
Between 2010 and 2014, 54 commercial fishermen lost their lives at sea around the UK and Ireland. Follow the advice on fishing safety - from choosing a lifejacket to updating your deck machinery and keeping your vessel stable.
Understand the risks and fish safely
Analysis of fatalities between 2010 and 2013 found that:
- 59% were not wearing a lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
- 59% were caused by unstable vessels leading to capsize, leaks and swamping
- The majority of fatalities occurred on vessels that were less than 15m in length.
Seven simple checks for safe fishing
- Wear a lifejacket
Lifejackets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) save lives, but they're useless unless worn. Put one on. See the RNLI's lifejacket guidance (PDF).
- Be aware of cold water shock
Cold water kills. If you do enter the water, wearing a lifejacket will help you withstand cold water shock and prolong your survival long enough for you to be recovered.
- Check pipework
Before you set off, check all critical pipework aboard your vessel, including all water inlets and seacocks.
- Is your boat stable?
Leaks, overloading and the free surface effect of a loose catch or poorly stowed kit can all make a vessel unstable.
- Assess your deck machinery
Ensure your deck machinery is safe to use and that all crew are fully trained on how to use it.
- Investigate bilge alarms
Investigate every bilge alarm every time you go to sea.
- Conduct regular emergency drills
Practise what to do in an emergency regularly.
How to stay safe
- Wear a PFD which is fit for purpose and correctly maintained.
- Understand vessel stability by watching films at RNLI.org/Stability.
- Consider applying for EMFF funding to improve vessel safety.
Find out more