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Displaying items by tag: lifejackets

#WaterSafety - Shore angler Colm Plunkett, who credits his lifejacket with saving his life after he was swept into the sea earlier this year, is supporting a water safety campaign launched this week by the RNLI throughout Ireland and the UK.

Plunkett and the RNLI are urging all shore anglers to wear a lifejacket, which could buy them vital time should they end up in the water unexpectedly.

Between 2010 and 2014 there were 29 anglers rescued while fishing from rocks or the shoreline in Ireland and the charity’s lifeboats were launched 43 times to shore angling callouts.

According to research conducted by the RNLI, only 10% of shore anglers wear lifejackets. Yet an expert casualty review panel found that 81% of the fatalities reviewed between 2007 and 2013 could have been prevented had the casualties been wearing lifejackets.

The safety campaign advises: ‘Don’t be an amateur – wear a lifejacket.’

Irish angler Colm Plunkett is one of those who chose to wear his lifejacket – a decision which ultimately saved his life after he was swept from rocks while fishing at Dursey Sound on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork in August this year.

Plunkett and his daughter Orlaith are backing the campaign and have shared their story with the RNLI for the campaign.

"I was fishing when a rogue wave washed me into the sea," he recounts. "I spent the next 55 minutes fighting for my life. Fortunately I was with my 16-year-old daughter, who immediately called the coastguard. Upon entering the water my lifejacket automatically inflated and kept me on the surface of the sea.

"For the first 15 to 20 minutes I was swept by the current out to sea. I spent 30 minutes or so fighting to get air into my lungs while spitting sea water out of my mouth; as the waves broke over my head and the water ran down my face.

"Much to my relief, the current then pushed me back towards the land and to calmer waters. My state of exhaustion and oncoming hypothermia prevented me from reaching the shore but my daughter shouted to me that help was on the way and, for the first time my spirits rose."

Ten minutes later, he recalls, the inshore rescue boat from Derrynane, Co Kerry reached him. "I was brought to shore with a life-threatening low temperature and was taken to hospital by helicopter for further assessment and treatment.

"I am here solely because I wear a lifejacket. If you are not wearing a lifejacket, you are as good as dead."

There are some simple steps anglers can follow to keep themselves safe:

  • If fishing from the shoreline, wear a lifejacket.
  • Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
  • Carry a means of calling for help.

The campaign forms part of the RNLI’s work to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.

Published in Water Safety

#Lifejackets - The Sunday Independent writes on Donegal firm Mullion Survival Technology's new innovative lifejackets that come with the latest tech to ensure help comes quickly.

The compact design sits like a collar around the user, with plenty of room for movement, but most important is the built-in GPS beacon that pinpoints the location of the user to rescuers, and a bright light that activates automatically once they hit the water.

What's more, each Mullion lifejacket is registered to a particular user, so that emergency services can know exactly who they're searching for when the alarm is raised.

Mullion's devices have already been credited with saving the life of a fisherman off Co Down, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, and as of this year will be the standard personal flotation device (PFD) for the Irish fishing fleet.

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notices from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) remind all mariners of the importance of safety at sea - both in seeking help and staying safe till help arrives.

Marine Notice No 38 of 2013 details guidelines for the care and maintenance of Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons or EPIRBs, which if installed correctly will automatically operate if a vessel capsizes, notifying the nearest emergency services of your location.

Meanwhile, Marine Notice No 39 of 2013 informs all owners, charterers, masters, skippers and crew of fishing and commercial vessels that correctly selected and worn lifejackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) save lives.

Published in Water Safety

#WATER SAFETY - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) addresses the legal requirements for all recreational craft owners, masters and users in relation to the wearing and carrying of personal flotation devices (PFDs).

The notice discusses the different types of PFDs - lifejackets and buoyancy aids - and their performance standards, as well as highlighting the importance of their use, proper care and servicing for safe activities on the water.

The law makes clear that there must be suitable PFDs for everyone on board any pleasure craft, and that PFDs must be worn by anyone the deck of any craft or on board any open craft that is under seven metres in lengh - or for people under the age of 16, any craft regardless of length.

Also detailed are recommendations for the storage of PFDs, and guidance for their correct usage.

The use of lifejackets and buoyancy aids is particularly important in light of the recent Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) recommendations on a number of incidents where their availability could have saved lives.

Full details are included in Marine Notice No 45 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#MCIB - The families of two fishermen found dead at sea off the Skerries last April may never uncover the circumstances that led to their demise. But the official report into the incident indicated that the absence of lifejackets was a significant contributing factor.

Ronan Browne (26) and David Gilsenan (41) were reported missing on the evening of 1 April after failing to return from a trip tending to lobster pots.

Their vessel, Lady Linda, was found the following morning upturned in an oil slick off Clogherhead with no sign of the crew.

It wasn't until a week later that their bodies were discovered caught in the vessel's fishing gear some five miles east of Clogherhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Post-mortem results found that both men died from drowning, with Gilsenan also showing signs of hypothermia.

With no eyewitnesses to the incident, the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) indicated a number of possible causes from eqiupment malfunction or shifting of lobster pots on deck, to the wave height and weather conditions on the day, which were reportedly deteriorating when the boat left port.

It also said that Browne and Gilsenan "were lifelong friends, both men were experienced and qualified marine engineers in the fishing vessel industry. Both men were experienced in boat handling and fishing and had worked together on many occasions."

But the report emphasised the lack of personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board, and noted that emergency equipment was stored under the deck and not easily accessible.

The MCIB's recommendations include a review of the code of practice for fishing vessels under 15m to establish "revised stability critera" and ensuring that all boats are fitted with automatic radio beacons that deploy upon capsize.

In a separate incident, lack of proper maintenance led to an unlicenced boat taking on water off Co Kerry last August.

The Claire Buoyant was carrying one crew, five passengers and 21 sheep from Beginish Island to Ventry when the vessel began to lose stability.

Skipper Eoin Firtear - who the MCIB described as having "limited sea-going experience" - and his five passengers were rescued by passenger ferry. All sheep were jettisoned overboard, with 18 eventually recovered.

The report reminded that the carriage of livestock should only be undertaken in appropriately certified vessels.

Published in MCIB

#CRUISE LINERS - Cruise ship passengers will be given a safety briefing before leaving port under new industry rules drawn up in the wake of the Costa Concordia incident, The Guardian reports.

Three organisations representing international cruise lines have agreed that the 'muster drill' - which is currently conducted within 24 hours of setting sail as per maritime law - must now be held before departure from any port.

The move comes after reports that hundreds of passengers who had boarded the stricken vessel hours before it ran aground off the western Italian coast had not yet had any kind of safety instruction.

Muster drills, whereby passengers are shown how to put on lifejackets and directed to exits, are already common practice in the industry.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, an Irish couple were among thousands rescued from the Costa Concordia after the incident on Friday 13 January. At least 32 people are believed to have died in the disaster, with 15 recorded passengers still missing.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, Irish Water Safety (IWS), the statutory body established to promote water safety and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are continuing their campaign to encourage more fishermen to wear their lifejackets at sea.

Despite seven fishermen losing their lives at sea this year to date, a laissez-faire attitude to safety still exists in the industry, particularly in relation to the wearing of lifejackets. In an effort to get fishermen to take notice of the real danger of going to sea without wearing a lifejacket, Noel O'Sullivan, a fisherman from Castletownbere, Co. Cork will act as Ambassador for the campaign. Noel survived an accident at sea, along with his six crew, when his vessel 'Discovery' capsized off the Isles of Scilly on the 29th January, 2007.

Noel describes the day of the accident...'I will never forget that day. As we were hauling in the catch, I knew there was something wrong. She was listing dangerously and I instructed the crew to launch the life rafts and jump overboard. As we jumped, she listed violently and capsized onto one of the life-rafts - puncturing it.....I treaded the freezing water for more than two hours until we were rescued..... I was terrified going back fishing but I went back as it's my livelihood, it's what I know...the difference is, I am more aware of the dangers now and I insist all my crew wear lifejackets. I would appeal to all fishermen to do the same' (Hear Noel's full story on BIM's website, www.bim.ie.

The fatality rate for Ireland's fishing sector stands at 88 per 100,000, making it 48 times more hazardous than other occupations*. Wearing a suitable lifejacket is the single most effective measure a fisherman can take to increase the chance of survival if involved in a man-overboard accident at sea.

Jason Whooley, BIM's CEO appeals to the fishing industry: 'I am sincerely asking all fishermen to wear their lifejackets. It could be the difference between life and death, it is that simple. Despite being a legal requirement, it is not something that is taken seriously enough in the fishing sector. We aim, along with our partners, IWS and the RNLI, to change this mentality through a targeted and ongoing safety campaign and I am delighted that Noel, who has personally survived an accident at sea, is helping us to drive this important message home.'

Current RNLI statistics suggest that less than 35% of fishermen regularly wear a lifejacket. Many fishermen feel that wearing a jacket inhibits their mobility and makes working on deck much more difficult. Part of this awareness campaign will be highlighting that there are a growing range of lifejackets that fishermen can use to suit their method of fishing and skippers and crew have a responsibility to themselves, work colleagues and family to consider the available options. In fact, there are new lifejackets on the market that are extremely light and compact and would not interfere with work on deck at all.

Published in Marine Warning
Tagged under
Over the past few seasons the use of lifejackets by crews on racing yachts has increased. There was a time when jackets were bulky, awkward and difficult to use in racing situations. The arrival of lighter, collar-type jackets, with built-in, automatic gas inflation bottles changed the situation.

The wearing of jackets is not compulsory, but a decision for the individual sailor, though Skipper can insist that crews use them while racing.

In the United States a debate is underway as to whether the wearing of jackets at all times on racing boats should be made compulsory by law. Regulations here require that everyone on board any boat of seven metres or less, approximately 22 feet, must wear lifejackets. They must be carried aboard for everyone on any vessel regardless of size. Every child less than 16 years of age must wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device at all times on deck while the craft is underway.

As owners prepare boats for racing this season, these regulations should be kept in mind. Enforcing the law, or even effectively checking its application remains patchy. Introducing laws is easier than implementing them, particularly in a yacht racing situation. Sailing clubs have their own enforcement arrangements and insist on buoyancy aids for dinghy racing.

Safety on the water is an issue for each individual, but skippers/owners would be well advised to protect themselves in this litigious nation by insisting on the wearing of lifejackets by crew members during racing. Accidents will happen. Preparation is best.

The national sailing association, the ISA, is to nominate teams for this year's Nations Cup match racing. The finals will be held at the USA Sailing Centre in Wisconsin from September 13-18.

The Irish Sailing Association this week sought expressions of interest from skippers who would like to represent Ireland, in the first instance at the European Regional Finals in Gydnia, Poland, from July 19-23.

Ireland is drawn in Europe Group II in the open and women's classes. Expressions of interest are needed to the ISA by next Tuesday, February 8. Selection will be based on performance in the ISA Match Race Championships last year and ISAF ranking positions.

2-handed class" racing in this year's Dun Laoghaire Week in early July. A number of skippers have already expressed interest and there may be UK boats. He wants to know if any South Coast sailors are interested. Contact Olivier who is Sailing Manager at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, phones 012801198 or 2805725 or by Email to Olivier at: [email protected]

Vinnie O'Shea of the RCYC has been elected Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA). Jackie Kenefick of Schull Harbour SC is Executive Officer and Michael Murphy of both the Schull and Crosshaven clubs remains as Treasurer and PRO. The Association is to discuss class bands and handicapping.

This article is reprinted by permission of the EVENING ECHO newspaper, Cork, where Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

More on lifejackets

http://www.afloat.ie/safety/lifeboats/item/13619-majority-of-lifejackets-fail-lifeboat-test/

Published in Island Nation

Gardai launched a full investigation into the weekend boating tragedy where two men died in Inishboffin harbour.The men were identified locally as former Mayo footballer, Ger Feeney, and businessman, Donal McEllin, both from Castlebar.

It is understood the pair left the island by small RIB to travel back to their motor cruiser some time after midnight on Saturday and are both thought to have been wearing lifejackets when they set out.

A second investigation is also to be carried out by officers of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB).

More here:

Ex-GAA star dies in double drowning tragedy off island

Two men drowned off Inishbofin

Castlebar in shock as Inishbofin victims are named

Related Safety posts

RNLI Lifeboats in Ireland


Safety News


Rescue News from RNLI Lifeboats in Ireland


Coast Guard News from Ireland


Water Safety News from Ireland

Marine Casualty Investigation Board News

Marine Warnings

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Two men died in a boating accident off the coast of Inishbofin in Co. Galway early this morning.

The pair, aged in their late 50's and early 60's had arrived on the island yesterday on a 40ft motor cruiser and it is understood, through local lifeboat sources, the accident appears to have happened as the two men returned to the cruiser by dinghy on Saturday night.

Both men were wearing lifejackets.

One of the bodies was washed ashore, while another was located inside the upturned dinghy around 11 o'clock this morning.

The bodies were airlifted by the Sligo-based Coastguard helicopter to Galway University Hospital.

Post-mortem examinations will be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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