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Broadcaster Monty Halls fronts campaign to get fishermen to wear life jackets

By tobymeyjes  |  Posted: March 05, 2014


Westcountry broadcaster Monty Halls is fronting a campaign to get fishermen to wear life jackets at sea

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Westcountry broadcaster Monty Halls is fronting a campaign to get fishermen to wear life jackets at sea.

According to research by industry body Seafish, fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs, with almost 100 fishermen losing their lives in the last decade.

A survey of 100 fishermen by the body found more than half agreed their job is dangerous, but only a quarter regularly wear a life jacket at sea.

Mr Halls, who has presented sea-based TV shows including Great Ocean Adventures and Great Escapes, said the fishermen should take the same approach with lifejackets as car drivers do with seatbelts.

He said: “Fishermen are our last, true, hunter-gatherers and the profession comes with inherent dangers. The research that Seafish conducted highlighted that UK fishermen know their work can be dangerous and they even acknowledged that their families worry about them whilst they’re working. Yet a large number are not wearing the appropriate safety equipment.”

The latest figures from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch also showed there were 260 accidents involving UK fishermen in 2012, with 44 serious injuries and six deaths.

The coastguard, RNLI, the Fishermen’s Mission and the Fishing Industry Safety Group are working to provide life jackets to every commercial fisherman in the UK.

So far, around 7,000 have been distributed in Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of England and Wales, with the initiative continuing throughout this year.

Simon Potten, head of safety and training at Seafish, said: “Our purpose is to help secure a sustainable and profitable future for the UK seafood industry. The safety and welfare of its primary producers, the fishermen, is fundamental to this.

“Fishing safety is a concern and fatalities are unacceptable. A personal floatation device can save a life and it is disappointing that such a high number of fishermen put themselves in additional danger by not using them.”

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