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Fishermen urged to become safer at sea after 100 deaths in 10 years

PUBLISHED: 10:41 29 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:41 29 December 2017

Fishermen bringing the boat onto the beach at Cromer.

 Photo by Mark Bullimore

Fishermen bringing the boat onto the beach at Cromer. Photo by Mark Bullimore

Archant Norfolk

Commercial fishermen across the region are being urged to train to become safer on the sea, after almost 100 UK deaths in the last decade.

There have been 3,300 accidents involving UK fishing vessels in the last 10 years with 500 fishermen suffering serious injury.

And research conducted by Seafish, the fishing industry body, found the majority of fishermen believe that accidents at sea could be avoided.

Seafish is urging fishermen to apply for a funded place on a locally-run free training course to refresh and advance their safety knowledge and skills, ahead of March 31, 2018, when current funding ends.

The funding, which is available to all commercial fishermen, can be used to attend a wide range of locally held safety courses; from basic training and safety refreshers, to more advanced courses such as navigation, engineering and stability awareness and a Skipper qualification.

A fisherman, just known as John, who attended one of the courses, said: “It’s so important for fishermen to undertake training to improve safety onboard.

“Each course I attended gave me new knowledge and skills that I used onboard my fishing vessel and shared with my crew members.”

Simon Potten, head of safety and training at Seafish, said: “Despite advances in the design and construction of safer fishing vessels, we are still seeing too many accidents every year and far too many serious injuries and fatalities to crew. Many of these could have been avoided.

“Safe working practices are taught on training courses, but the knowledge and skills gained still have to be put into practice by fishermen when back working onboard their vessels.

“Seafish has managed to secure several million pounds in funding for fishermen’s training over the last 20 years, but we can’t be sure of future funding.

“It’s incredibly important that Norfolk’s commercial fishermen apply for funding before it runs out. Not only could it save a life or prevent a life-changing injury, but the certificates and qualifications gained can also open up other income-earning opportunities. Act now. Don’t delay.”

To find your local training provider, or to apply for funding, visit www.seafish.co.uk/training

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