Monday, 1 April 2019

Lifejacket survey - fishermen, your help is required!

Dear participant,

Have you fished commercially or professionally in the last year? 

If so, then please take this survey on your personality and habits of commercial fishermen wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) while working at sea.

This study is conducted by Jennifer Pickett and Joeri Hofmans of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. This survey will take approximately 15 minutes.

The aim of this questionnaire is to better understand a bit about you and the reasons why commercial/professional fishermen do or do not wear a PFD while on deck. The survey is anonymous and participation is voluntary and you may stop at any time without giving any reasons. I appreciate your honest answers! Stay safe and good fishing. You can email her here if you would like more information. 

The difference that wearing a suitable lifejacket or PFD can make to survival and preventing death in the case of falling overboard was brought home only to vividly last month when a crew-member from a Brixham based beam trawler went over the side, at might, in heavy seas.

Remember, this winchman said he had been rescuing fishermen from the sea for over 20 years but this was the first time the casualty was live - thanks to him wearing a lifejacket.

"This is an incredible rescue story. We got the call to help just 5 minutes after the fisherman had fallen overboard. Despite horrendous weather conditions on scene with winds in excess of 60 knots, we were preparing ourselves for an extensive search and rescue operation. The fishing crew had done all the right things and even from a distance we quickly spotted the smoke marker and the life ring they had released.
"The fisherman was spotted by his crew about 40m on the starboard side of his fishing vessel, some 400m away from smoke marker position.
"We flew towards that position and saw the casualty immediately as he was wearing a reflective life jacket. We lowered our winchman into the water in very rough conditions and conducted a double winch recovery which only took about 2 minutes.
"Once on board we flew straight to Derriford Hospital and handed him over to AandE department, where we have now heard that he's doing well and in good spirits".
Captain Jörg Brunner, HM Coastguard Newquay helicopter

"I’ve been doing search and rescue for nearly 20 years and Reegan was the first fisherman I’ve taken out of the water who was conscious and alive, but he was also the first fisherman I took out of the water wearing a lifejacket." 

Powerful words from Winchman ‘Spike’ Hughes