Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 2018 Running Rigging 728x90

Eleven drowning deaths hit-home the importance of lifejacket-wear

by Samantha Sinclair, MCA 3 Jul 2019 05:13 UTC
Scottish Infographic © Maritime and Coastguard Agency

11 people, who drowned in 2018, might be alive today had they been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. This is one of the main findings of this year's Casualty Review Panel [1] who met earlier this year to discuss last year's maritime fatalities.

The Panel reviewed 22 fatalities from 2018 and agreed that 11 lives [2] could have been saved if they had been wearing a lifejacket. This figure is slightly lower than last year's figure of 13 lives (out of 27 fatalities).

In the twelve years that the Panel has been meeting, is has recorded that 200 lives could have been saved by wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

The majority of incidents last year involved commercial fishermen (including accidents at fish farms) and anglers, many of which happened in Scottish Sea Lochs.

The Panel's overriding advice was to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid appropriate to your activity which is proven to greatly improve your chances of surviving the shock of entering cold water. The Panel also recommended an additional package of measures to keep you safe for your activity.

  • Carrying a VHF DSC radio and knowing how to use it to contact the Coastguard or other vessels
  • Carrying a PLB or EPIRB [3] will help rescuers to locate you and even if you're unconscious the alarm will be raised.
  • Downloading the RYA SafeTrx app [4] on your phone and using it in an emergency could make all the difference.
  • Wearing appropriate clothing and carrying the right safety equipment for your sport, particularly rock anglers and sport fishermen wading in slippery rivers.
  • Making sure your equipment is properly fitted, for example wearing a lifejacket with a crotch strap attached. This advice comes after the panel looked at a case where a yachtsman died because he was wearing a lifejacket that was not properly fitted, had ridden up and was not keeping his head above water.
Maritime Safety Week is focusing on important safety issues such as lifejacket wear this year. Tomorrow (Wednesday 3 July) as part of this, Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP will be meeting with other ministers and the fishing industry to talk about fishing vessel safety.

[1] The Casualty Review Panel comprises representatives from: Angling Trust, RNLI, Royal Yachting Association, Marine Accident Investigation Branch, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, National Water Safety Forum, British Canoe Union, the lifejacket industry, Scottish Fishermen's Federation and University of Portsmouth. The panel uses data supplied from Coastguard and MAIB databases and therefore covers mostly coastal incidents. Other inland fatal angling incidents, where a lifejacket might have saved a life may have occurred during 2018 but these are not included for this exercise.

[2] These figures refers to those people who probably or possibly could have been saved had they been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. Where it would have been appropriate for a person to be wearing buoyancy, this was recorded.

[3] Personal Location Beacon or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon

[4] You can get more information about RYA SafeTrx and where to download it here: RYA SafeTrx app

Related Articles

UK Coastguard to use new aircraft
Decked out with latest technology to boost search and rescue at sea Two new state-of-the-art aircraft have taken to the skies, boosting the lifesaving search and rescue missions carried out by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). Posted on 8 Feb
Drones could form a key part of search and rescue
Technology could also boost capabilities for marine protection and counter pollution From accidents off the rugged cliffs of the Atlantic coast to casualties in the high waves of the North Sea, drones could be used in the future to help save lives across the UK. Posted on 6 Feb
HM Coastguard at Royal International Air Tattoo
Announcing their biggest ever participation at the event For the first time HM Coastguard will showcase three aircraft, in traditional red and white livery, to allow both trade visitors and the general public to explore all the features of their world-class search and rescue and counter pollution services. Posted on 6 Jul 2019
Autonomous vessel work continues
All part of a long-term Maritime and Coastguard Agency plan The Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the wider industry will be looking to build on the autonomous cargo run that has taken place across the North Sea. Posted on 15 May 2019
Search and rescue drone trial announced in Essex
A new drone trial is taking flight to support vital search and rescue action The year-long trial, which starts today 29 April, 2019 will provide HM Coastguard Rescue Teams with more eyes in the sky to assist with search and rescue operations around the county's coastline, supporting the vital work of their teams and the RNLI. Posted on 29 Apr 2019
Safety bulletin issued for all mariners
Navigation data from some older GPS systems might become inaccurate The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has issued a special safety bulletin to all mariners that use GPS to prepare for a rollover event that will occur on 6 April 2019. Posted on 23 Mar 2019
New SOSREP at the helm to oversee response
A former Coastguard has been appointed to the vital role Stephan Hennig had previously been working with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency's Counter Pollution Branch since 2012 and was appointed Deputy to the SOSREP in 2017. Posted on 19 Jan 2019
British yacht in distress uses alert for rescue
Two people have been rescued after their Personal Locator Beacon alerted HM Coastguard Two people have been rescued after their Personal Locator Beacon alerted HM Coastguard to the fact their yacht was in trouble off the Solomon Islands. Posted on 15 Dec 2018
Maritime & Coastguard Agency appoints new CEO
Brian takes over the helm of the MCA today New Maritime & Coastguard Agency chief executive Brian Johnson says he is committed to supporting the Agency's ongoing work to drive up standards of maritime safety. Posted on 1 Nov 2018
Maritime fees increase will bring extra investment
Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) will increase most of its fees across the whole of the UK The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is to increase its fees for the first time in over ten years – giving it the flexibility to invest further in the services it provides to the maritime sector. Posted on 22 Oct 2018
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - FooterNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterMarine Resources 2019 - Footer