Grant Aid Provides Life-Saving Equipment For Northern Irish Fishermen
A series of events during August and September will provide safety training to our local County Down fishermen as well as a free Personal Flotation Device (PFD) or lifejacket to help improve safety at sea.
The joint initiative by National Charity, the Fishermen’s Mission, Seafish, DARD (Department for Agriculture and Rural Development) through the European Fisheries Fund, the RNLI and Asda will be helping to ensure that fishermen around the coast of Northern Ireland will receive a PFD and the training required to ensure its proper use.
Fishing remains a dangerous occupation. In the past, inflatable oilskins and lifejackets have been too cumbersome for fishermen to wear whilst working. These new PFD’s are lightweight and specifically designed to be user-friendly while fishing. As fishing remains the most dangerous peacetime occupation it is vital to get the message across of how important it is for our fishermen to wear this device at all times.
Superintendent Maurice Lake from the Fishermen’s Mission based in Kilkeel covering Northern Ireland, is working closely with Seafish, and he has applied for the funding for the PFD’s. He said “It is imperative to provide user-friendly equipment to fishermen to improve the current safety record. If just one life is saved then the money is well spent. The Fishermen’s Mission is committed to the safety of our fishermen remaining a key priority. We are deeply grateful to the European Fisheries Fund, DARD, Seafish and Asda who have all contributed towards the purchase of these PFD’s.
Dr Lynn Gilmore, from Seafish Northern Ireland, who played a key role in ensuring the success of the venture, added: ‘The local industry and community will benefit by having a better equipped crew and families will have peace of mind knowing their loved ones are better protected while at sea”.
The PFD’s will be distributed to fishermen in the Northern Irish fleet at a series of events to be held around the coast. Active fishermen should get along to their local event:
Portavogie Fish Market from 11am- 3pm on Saturday 10th August
Ardglass Fish Market from 5pm- 9pm on Friday 20th September
Kilkeel Mission Centre from 11am – 4pm on Saturday 21st September
There will also be a distribution at:
Red Bay RNLI station from 5pm – 9pm on Friday 9th August 2013
Fishermen wishing to receive a PFD should attend the events in person bringing proof of ID, current safety certificates and proof of their employment.