BIM Teams Up with RNLI to Highlight Lifesaving Strategies for Fishers at Sea
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency has partnered up with the RNLI to deliver a series of one day Man Overboard experiences aimed at Irish Fishers this autumn. The aim is to highlight the importance of wearing a correctly fitted Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and ensure Fishers are ready to implement their vessels Man Overboard (MOB) recovery plan. Participants will experience first-hand the difference between falling overboard in challenging sea conditions with no Personal Floatation Device, followed by the same experience with their PFD correctly fitted.
Although the conditions are controlled, they provide a realistic experience, simulating the impact of work clothing, oilskins, and boots on a person’s buoyancy, coupled with challenging sea conditions. The class also looks at the importance of having and following your Man Overboard recovery plan.
Recent research (May 2021) commissioned by BIM to understand more about fishers and their views on safety at sea revealed the vast majority of fishers understand that wearing a PFD could save their lives. However, just over half of fishers interviewed said they do not always wear their PFD at sea. The research also highlighted that 80% of those that have attended safety at sea training within the past five years are considerably more likely to regularly wear their PFD. This compares to 58% for those that were on a training course more than five years ago or have never been on one before.
BIM’s Skills Development Director, Ian Mannix, said: “The research clearly highlights the importance of reinforcing the message that wearing a PFD is essential at sea. Having participated in this class myself recently, it really brought home the extreme difference wearing a PFD makes. Without a doubt, it is essential for surviving at sea. We are delighted to be able to partner with the RNLI in delivering these classes free of charge to Irish Fishers. Both BIM and the RNLI have a shared goal of a safety at sea. The experience compliments and builds upon the existing mandatory three-day Safety Training offered by BIM in both its National Fisheries Colleges in Donegal and Cork and our two mobile coastal training units.”
Frankie Horne, Fishing Safety Manager, RNLI, delivers the course and he said:“As fishers, one of the most important things we can do is be prepared for an ‘Accident Immersion’ whereby we unintentionally end up in the water. RNLI data analysis shows that most Fishing Fatalities from accident immersion are because we cannot stay afloat or be recovered in time. 109 fishers lost their lives in Irish and UK waters between 2008 and 2017, going about their daily work. Of these, 47 fatalities were a result of accidental Immersion, Man Overboard (MOB). When you go overboard. Capable people, become incapable very quickly. Be Rigged and Ready.”
The free, 1-day classes will run on Friday 7th & Saturday 8th of October, as well as Friday 4th & Saturday 5th of November. The classes will take place in the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. Potential participants must have their BIM Mandatory Safety Training completed and be over 16 years of age.