More than 85 fishermen have been injured or killed in deck accidents in the last five years, according to new figures released by accident investigators.
The figures released by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) show 84 people were injured and four killed by faulty machinery between January 2011 and November 2015.
Lifeboat crews are urging fishermen in the South East to replace older pieces of on-deck machinery.
The RNLI was called to 30 commercial fishing-related incidents last year, rescuing 38 people.
As a result, the RNLI has released a new safety video to encourage fishermen to take extra care while on deck.
Paul Cannon, a former commercial fisherman and volunteer crew member at Ramsgate Lifeboat Station, said, “I know just how demanding and dangerous commercial fishing can be, especially in rough conditions throughout the winter months.
“All fishing crew should be fully trained on the equipment they are using and regular risk assessments should be carried out to spot hazards and dangers on deck.
“This new safety video is approximately six minutes long and features interviews with a range of fishing safety experts and victims of deck machinery accidents.”
The RNLI is also encouraging skippers and vessel owners to apply for funding through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to help replace older, more dangerous deck machinery on their boats,
Steve Clinch, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents at the MAIB, said, “Year after year, the MAIB receives numerous reports of fishermen suffering crush injuries, amputations and even death as the result of accidents involving deck machinery on fishing boats.
“Sadly, in almost all cases, accidents which occur when operating deck machinery are avoidable if fishermen undertake some basic training and adopt safe working practices. I would therefore recommend this awareness video to all fishermen, but especially skippers.
“Any fishermen going to sea should always take the time to consider carefully the potential risks of any hauling or shooting operation and take all necessary measures to protect everyone on board.
“Too many limbs, livelihoods and lives have been lost because fishermen have taken unnecessary risks.”
The EMFF grant funding to replace older, more dangerous deck machinery became available for fishermen across the UK to apply for today (Monday, January 18.
To view the safety video, and to find out more about how to apply for an EMFF grant, visit RNLI.org/DeckMachinery
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