Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Safety

#safetyatsea – Last Thursday (April 16) the Department of Transport published its Maritime Safety Strategy, resulting from the "Sea Change" consultation last year. By chance this coincided exactly with our publication of the ICC's independent analysis of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board reports which form the background to the programme. Norman Kean has now reviewed the latest proposals.

The new Maritime Safety Strategy contains much sensible encouragement, and also 33 proposals for action by the Irish Maritime Administration, under five headings. These include:

• "Intensification of efforts to promote maritime safety awareness through a process of information and communication, and the promotion of more effective communication between key stakeholders"

• "An appropriate regulatory regime for the seaworthiness of vessels and craft and the competency of operators and/or crew"

• "Building on the current enforcement regime."

What does this mean for leisure sailors? Under the Information and Communication heading are some sensible proposals, such as widening the membership of the Marine Safety Working Group, organising an annual maritime safety conference to be open to the public, and addressing children and young people through the education system. This goes some way to recognizing the fact that the people most at risk are not connected to the established organization of sailing clubs and training systems. Lack of awareness is the biggest killer of all.

"Appropriate regulatory regime" translates into the intent to update the Code of Practice for Safe Operation of Recreational Craft, starting in 2016. It is to be hoped that this will be done in a proportionate and well-informed manner, and that the word "should" in respect of things like carriage of equipment does not too often morph into "must". Perish the thought that we might be required by law to submit our boats to annual Government inspection, that we should be compelled on pain of prosecution to report every single arrival and departure to Coast Guards or Harbourmasters, that we might be forced to transmit AIS signals all the time on pain of a fine. All those and many more have been suggested in submissions at the consultation stage of this process. This must not be the thin end of the wedge. Transmitting AIS is undoubtedly a good idea in busy waters, but the accident statistics don't support making it compulsory. We do not need, and we certainly do not want, a Big Brother regime, and the absence of any explicit proposals in that direction is to be welcomed.

Starting in 2017, jet skis and many small speedboats will have to be registered, as defined in the new Registration of Ships Bill, and it appears that the timeline for a new voluntary small craft register will start in 2018. This is far too late. The lack of such a facility for the next three years will leave many owners with no choice but to flag out to other EU states, to avoid facing voyage restrictions and having Irish yachts, at present abroad, put at risk of being impounded for lack of ship's papers.

But it begs the question, what does all that have to do with safety? Might the mention of registration here be a step in the direction of inspection - and ultimately taxation?
A new focus is proposed on more rigorous enforcement of existing legal requirements, with extension of on-the-spot fines for breaches of lifejacket laws quoted. That particular example is common sense and should be applauded by all responsible sailors. The great majority of recreational craft fatalities occur in small open boats and the majority of casualties are not wearing lifejackets when they should be. Conspicuous enforcement would get the attention of those most at risk. Last summer we came across a speedboat grossly overloaded with eleven people aboard; none of the five adults was wearing a lifejacket. If the skipper had been met on the pontoon by a couple of burly Guards who promptly relieved him of several hundred euro, the word might get round and the message might get through. But there must be no mission creep. I was once, at the helm, accosted by a Coast Guard crew who asked me, none too gently, where my lifejacket was, to which I replied that it was safely in its locker, that this vessel was 16 metres in length and perhaps they would care to read their own rules.

Under "Data and Evaluation" it is proposed to commission a baseline study of attitudes to maritime safety. The sailing clubs of Ireland need to be proactive in taking part in that. In respect of cruising sailors, the RNLI is currently doing exactly the same thing, and we must hope that the Maritime Administration takes the results of that study fully into account. Despite the rising trend in callouts to recreational craft, the RNLI continues to be firmly in favour of education over compulsion.

Published in Water Safety

#maritimesafety – The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, TD, today launched a new Maritime Safety Strategy 2015 – 2019, the theme of which is 'Make Time for Maritime Safety.' 

The new Strategy was developed following a consultation with key stakeholders and the general public and includes an analysis of the factors contributing to maritime fatalities in Ireland.

A link to the Maritime Safety Strategy document is HERE.

"My Department's maritime safety remit covers safety on recreational craft, including surfboards, fishing vessels and cargo ships and it is these areas which are covered by the Strategy we are launching today. Although the average annual number of marine incident-related fatalities, at 11, is low, lives continue to be lost on the water, despite regulation, inspections and training. Perhaps not surprisingly, most incidents happen in the fishing and recreational sectors. What is striking, however, is the fact that 99% of maritime fatalities are male, with an average age of 44, and that fatalities in the maritime sector are potentially avoidable.

"There is broad agreement in the sector that to reduce fatalities, the focus needs to be on changing culture and personal behaviour rather than on more regulation. While this Strategy primarily identifies actions that the Department, through the Irish Maritime Administration (IMA) will take, the important roles of individuals, families, friends and sectoral organisations are also highlighted.

"Notwithstanding the efforts of my Department in terms of preventative action, enforcement and emergency response, these efforts cannot on their own improve maritime safety. It is up to each individual who takes to the water to take personal responsibility for their actions and to understand that failure to operate safely puts not just their own life at risk, but the lives of others on board and potentially the lives of emergency and rescue personnel.

"The genesis of this Strategy was the emergence of recurring causal factors in marine casualty investigation reports and recognition of the extent to which maritime fatalities and incidents could be avoided. Among the top 10 factors identified from analysis of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) reports are:

· The need for an enhanced maritime safety culture

· Unsuitable or inadequately maintained safety equipment on board, or lack thereof

· Lack of crew training

· Failure to plan journeys safely, including failure to take sea/weather conditions into account

· Non-wearing of personal flotation device (lifejacket/buoyancy aid)

· Vessel unseaworthy, unstable and/or overloaded

"The 33 actions outlined in the report are grouped under five over-arching strategic objectives; Information and Communication, Search and Rescue Operations, Standards, Enforcement, Data and Evaluation. They are centred on promoting personal responsibility for maritime safety, improving search and rescue, and implementing preventative measures, including a robust inspection and regulatory framework, and an enhanced enforcement regime. They are designed, in a holistic way, to tackle the factors contributing to maritime fatalities and to ultimately reduce in the number of lives lost in the maritime sector.

"This strategy sets out in a very straightforward way, what individuals, families, friends and communities can do to ensure safety when taking to the water. This includes proper planning, operating on a safety first basis, always telling somebody where you are going and when you expect to be back, wearing suitable clothing and always wearing lifejackets and buoyance aids. The Strategy concludes by outlining what my Department can and will do to support a better maritime safety culture. I urge everyone involved in the sector to pay close heed to the Strategy's contents so that together we can reduce, and eventually eliminate, needless fatalities at sea."

Published in Rescue

#watersafety - August is the most popular month for outdoor swimming, prompting Irish Water Safety's appeal to swim at Lifeguarded waterways and to stay close to shore and within your depth.

Ireland averages 135 drownings every year. Drownings happen quickly and silently yet people can stay safe by heeding the following advice:

Safe Swimming in August:

1. Swim at lifeguarded waterways - all listed at
2. Swim within your depth and stay within your depth.
3. Swim parallel and close to shore.
4. Swim with others in bathing areas that are traditionally recognised as safe.
5. Never use inflatable toys in open water or swim out after anything drifting.
6. Pay attention to signs on the beach and supervise children at all times.
7. Never swim in the dark, late at night or after consuming alcohol.
8. Avoid staying in the water too long.
9. In Marine Emergencies, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.

No matter what your aquatic activity, when you are on or near water always wear a correctly fitted lifejacket with a crotch strap.

Children are curious about water therefore it is critical that adults supervise children at all times.

Published in Water Safety
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#seasafety – Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has called for a sea change in attitudes to maritime safety, as he launched a new consultation process on maritime safety: Sea Change – Building a new Maritime Safety Culture. But even as the Minister was preparing for today's event Howth Cooast Guard was bringing to safety two children recovered from a small dinghy off North Co Dublin on Monday evening.

Minister Varadkar highlighted the 134 maritime fatalities which have occurred since 2002, almost half of which were as a result of leisure activities on recreational craft. As reported earlier the Minister was speaking at the launch of the consultation process in the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport which included stakeholders from shipping, fishing, leisure, passenger operators, maritime safety and many other sectors.

Minister Varadkar said: "We all need to take a fresh look at how we use the waters in and around our island, and build a culture of maritime safety in our communities. This requires a radical change of culture in our attitude to safety."

"The sea and any open water can be hostile and dangerous environments and demand total respect. By consulting with stakeholders and the general public, we want to reach a situation where there are no fatalities."

The results of the consultation process will feed into the first ever Maritime Safety Strategy for Ireland. This Strategy is being prepared by the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. This approach borrows from the very successful road safety strategies that have helped make Ireland's roads considerably safer over the last 15 years.

The goal is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries which occur every year on craft in our coastal and inland waters. This will be done by building a culture of safety in the maritime sector, for all types of craft, with a focus on maritime safety issues, and by posing key questions to shape the new Maritime Safety Strategy.

Sea Change looks at how to address the top ten factors contributing to loss of life at sea in Ireland:

Lack of an adequate maritime safety culture;
Unsuitable or inadequately maintained safety equipment on board, or lack thereof;
Lack of crew training;
Failure to plan journeys safely, including failure to take sea/weather conditions into account;
Non-wearing of personal flotation device (PFD);
Vessel unseaworthy, unstable and/or overloaded;
Inadequate enforcement of regulations;
Impairment due to fatigue or the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
Inadequate crewing levels/solo operation;
Unsuitable clothing being worn on board.

Minister Varadkar said: "The number of tragedies around our coastline, and the effect of those events on families, has put the need for a new Maritime Safety Strategy into sharp focus. We have to learn from past tragedies, in memory of those who have lost their lives, and safeguard future generations. There is a lot of goodwill towards improving safety at sea, but we need to harness that goodwill."

"I urge all stakeholders, and the general public, to engage with this consultation process and to contribute their ideas to the Irish Maritime Administration in my Department as we strive to improve maritime safety together. My hope is that a wide range of responses will be received, and that positive ideas will emerge which will enable us to take further practical measures to save lives in the maritime sector, since any life lost is one too many."

The consultation period runs until 29th August 2014, and the new Strategy will be published later this year. The Strategy will be monitored closely during implementation and reviewed and updated within a five year period.

There have been a total of 134 fatalities in the Maritime Sector since 2002:

Leisure activities:
66 fatalities (49% of total)
Youngest fatality (15yrs)
Oldest fatality (71yrs)

Fishing Sector:
51 fatalities (38% of total)
Youngest fatality (21yrs)
Oldest fatality (70yrs)

Passenger Sector:
11 fatalities (8% of total)
Youngest fatality (14yrs)
Oldest fatality (73yrs)

Cargo Sector:
6 fatalities (5% of total)
Youngest fatality (20yrs)
Oldest fatality (55yrs)

The Irish Maritime Administration
The Irish Maritime Administration (IMA) was established in 2013 to integrate the planning and delivery of all the maritime services of the Department under a single national office. It is central to the Department's drive for more efficient and effective delivery of maritime services.

It comprises the Maritime Safety Policy Division, the Marine Survey Office, the Irish Coast Guard, the Maritime Transport Division and a new Maritime Services Division.

The IMA is developing the maritime transport sector by facilitating the achievement of international safety levels and by enhancing infrastructure needed to secure employment in the shipping, fishing and leisure sectors.

Published in Water Safety
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#coastguard – The Irish Coast Guard has today issued advice to members of the public in advance of the June Bank Holiday in relation to Water Safety, Cliff Walking and other Water sports and Coastal Activities.

Throughout the summer (as at other times of the year), Irish Coast Guard Units throughout the country will patrol our rivers, lakes, waterways and coastlines issuing safety advice and information to holidaymakers and tourists. Traditionally over the Bank Holiday weekend many people take to the water and enjoy outdoor active weekends, including cliff walking and this weekend the Irish Coast Guard begin their Summer Safety campaign.

Speaking ahead of the weekend Declan Geoghegan, Manager at the Irish Coast Guard, said "With the warmer weather and bank holiday weekend we are expecting more people to enjoy water and coastline activities but we would remind people to be safety conscious when engaged in such activities. Water sports are a popular and enjoyable pastime but we ask people to heed the advice and if you see someone in difficulty dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard."

Last year the Coast Guard saw an increase in incidents and is urging everyone to heed the advice and enjoy the water and coastal activities in a safe manner over the bank holiday weekend and throughout the summer:


Only swim at beaches and waterways that have lifeguards on duty and pay attention to the safety flags, avoid locks and weirs. Ask the Lifeguard for advice about safety and water conditions and adhere to their instructions.

Never go out on the water, including rivers and lakes, having consumed alcohol.
Be able to swim. Get the proper training to stay safe.
Never go out alone.
Familiarise yourself with the local area, be aware of your own capabilities.
Swim parallel to the shore and not in deep water.
Keep warm before and after swimming.
Have a means of alerting the emergency services.
Avoid using inflatable toys, such as lilos and rubber rings, on the water.

Cliff Walking

There is safety in numbers, so never be alone if possible. Let somebody know when and where you are going and what time you will be back. Stay well away from the cliff edge, both top and bottom. Don't attempt to rescue people or pets if they fall over the edge. If assistance is required dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Water Sports and Coastal Activities

Before going to sea check local weather conditions and tides in the area. Personal Flotation Devices include lifejackets and buoyancy aids. It is vital to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if your activity takes you near the water. This doesn't just mean the sea – it includes lakes and rivers too. If you enjoy sports like jetskiing, windsurfing, water skiing and canoeing, wearing the appropriate Personal Floatation Device will give you added confidence when in the water. Also, in the event of an emergency, it will help you remain afloat while the Search and Rescue services locate you. Lifejackets are of no use unless they are worn. Ensure your craft is fit for purpose. Always advise someone as to where you are going and the time of your intended return. Do not overload the craft. If you are in difficulty or see someone in difficulty and requiring assistance dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard.

For specific advice and information on any water and coastal activity, visit

Also the Irish Coast Guard provide free waterproof wristbands for children to assist the emergency services in contacting a parent or guardian should it be required. These wristbands distributed last year as part of the "Give us a Hand" campaign can be attained at Coast Guard stations nationwide.

Published in Coastguard
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#fishing – Marine Notice No. 16 of 2014

Notice to all Fishing Vessel Owners, Skippers, Fishermen and Seafarers

Enhanced Safety Training for Skippers and Crews of Fishing Vessels Less than 15m Length overall

This Marine Notice is published in accordance with Section 8.6 of the Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Equipment and Operation of Small Fishing Vessels of less than 15m Length overall (Rev.2), regarding the updating of safety skills and knowledge.

The following training course providers are approved to provide the required training under the Code of Practice:

Course Provider Details:

BIM Marine Services Division,

P.O. Box No 12,

Crofton Road,

Dun Laoghaire,

Co. Dublin.

Email: [email protected]

Tel: +353 (0) 1 214 4100

B.I.M. National Fisheries College,


Co. Donegal.

Email: [email protected]

Tel: +353 (07493) 81099/ 81068

B.I.M. Regional Fisheries Centre,


Co. Cork.

Email: [email protected]

Tel: + 353 (0) 27 70450 /71106

Irish Maritime Administration,

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport,

Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, Ireland.

For any technical assistance in relation to this Marine Notice, please contact:

The Marine Survey Office, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, tel: +353-(0)1-678 3400.

For general enquiries, please contact the Maritime Safety Policy Division, tel: +353-(0)1-678 3418.

Written enquiries concerning Marine Notices should be addressed to:

Maritime Safety Policy Division, Dept. of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, Ireland.

email: [email protected] or visit us at:



Published in Fishing

#Safety - The factor of a malfunctioning radio beacon in the deaths of three fishermen in Tramore Bay this summer prompted the recent Marine Notice urging tests of such devices.

According to RTÉ News, the Australian manufacturer of the EPIRB devices in question was not aware of any problems until after it emerged that the beacon on the small fishing punt sailed by Paul, Kenny and Shane Bolger failed to emit a signal.

The bodies of the three men were recovered from the water in Tramore Bay just hours after they were reported missing on Wednesday 12 June.

The EPIRB - or Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon - carried on the Bolger brothers' boat is one of the six classes identified in last week's Marine Notice (see appendix HERE).

All were manufactured between 2005 and 2010 by Australian film GME, which has since told RTÉ News that it lately learned of problems with its radio devices via "market-place feedback".

A malfunctioning microprocessor is thought to be to blame.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#Diving - Divers across Britain and Northern Ireland are being called on to help the RNLI with research into participation and attitudes to safety in the sport by taking part in a new online survey.

The RNLI, in partnership with the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG), is asking divers and dive instructors in the UK to take 10 minutes to complete the online survey, which looks at their reasons for participating in diving, how often they take to the water, preferred methods and locations, experience and training, awareness of possible hazards and use of safety measures.

The findings will be used to help the RNLI and BDSG develop tailored and relevant safety messages for the diving community, to help make the sport even safer.

Last year alone, 314 diving incidents were reported to the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC). 

The survey, being undertaken by Substance on behalf of the RNLI, launched on Tuesday 27 August and will run for nine weeks, during which time anyone who dives in the UK – no matter how often or what level of experience – is invited to take part.

To supplement the online survey, face-to-face surveys will be conducted at dive sites, charter boat launch and departure points, and at Dive 2013, the NEC Dive Show in October. In-depth interviews and focus groups will also be conducted. Divers wishing to take part in these are encouraged to contact Substance via the survey website.

RNLI coastal safety manager Nick Fecher, who is running the project, explained the reasoning behind the research.

"Diving is a hugely popular sport but accidents do happen. A total of 314 diving incidents were reported to BSAC last year and the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews have rescued 96 divers and saved 13 divers’ lives in the past five years," he said.

"By carrying out this research, we hope to understand more about how and why people dive, what they know about the risks and what safety measures they take. We’re hoping to hear from divers of all levels of experience, so we can then develop really targeted and relevant safety advice to help them enjoy their sport as safely as possible.

"Coastal safety is a key part of the RNLI’s remit of saving lives at sea – by offering important safety advice to people taking part in coastal activities like diving, we hope to prevent incidents from happening in the first place and, ultimately, save lives."

All who participate in the survey are offered the option of free entry into a prize draw, with the first prize of a DX dive computer, kindly donated by Suunto Diving UK, and a second prize of an Abyss 22 regulator, kindly donated by Mares. Winners will be chosen by Substance using a random number generator by 15 November.

Published in Diving
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Marine Notice No. 34 of 2013

For the attention of all Masters, Operators and Owners

Safety Management Systems – Passenger Ships

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to bring to the attention of all passenger ship operators a recent report published by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board into the marine casualty involving the passenger ship "MV Ceol na Farraige". The full report may be obtained from the website of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board at .

The report made a recommendation on safety management systems, reminding owners to carry out a risk assessment in accordance with the Domestic Safety Management Code. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to draw attention to the need for owners / operators to carry out a risk analysis in accordance with the Company Safety Policy Statement (Section 2.1) of the Domestic Safety Management Code. This should address all risks including open stairwells leading from the wheelhouse, and take any necessary precautions resulting from the analysis.

Although the code directly applies to cargo vessels over 500 GT and passenger ships operating exclusively in Irish domestic waters irrespective of their flag, its relevance is considered beneficial to vessel types other than the above.

For more information please refer to Regulation EU 336/2006, S.I. No. 60 of 2008 and
Marine Notices 2 , 8 and 41 of 2007.

Statutory Instruments may be purchased by mail order from Government Publications, Office of Public Works, 52 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-6476834. They are also available at: .

Director General,
Maritime Safety Directorate,
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport,
Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, Ireland.

For any technical assistance in relation to this Marine Notice, please contact:
The Marine Survey Office, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, tel: +353-(0)1-678 3400.
For general enquiries, please contact the Maritime Safety Policy Division, tel: +353-(0)1-678 3418.
Written enquiries concerning Marine Notices should be addressed to:
Maritime Safety Directorate, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, Ireland.
email: [email protected] or visit us at:

Published in Marine Warning
Tagged under

#fishing – A key aspect of new state safety packages for fishermen unveiled today is the use of EPIRBS which are to be made mandatory overtime and included in revised Fishing Vessel Code of Practice.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, TD, with responsibility for maritime safety regulation and emergency response, and Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, with responsibility for the fishing industry, jointly launched a multi-faceted, cross Departmental, Cross Agency safety initiative for the Irish Fishing Industry in Union Hall today.

Grant aid is being made available for float-free, automatically activated EPIRBs (electronic position indicating radio beacons) for fishing vessels of less than 15 metres. The scheme will be operated by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and cover 60% of the cost of equipment for smaller vessels under 12 metres, and 40% of the cost for larger vessels. This is the single most significant safety enhancement of the scheme announced today. The grants can be used to purchase new units or to retrofit or replace old, manually operated beacons.

Grants will also be provided for Personal Locator Beacons which will be made mandatory for vessels of 15 metres or less, and included in the Fishing Vessel Code of Practice.

The initiative is supported by both Departments and their respective agencies and features the following:-

– Provision of Vessel & personal locator beacons.

– A new enhanced Safety Equipment Grant Aid Scheme operated by BIM for the purchase of:

– Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)

– Personal Locator Beacons integrated into Personal Flotation Devices (PFD/PLB's)

– Float Free – self activating Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBS)

– Auto Pilot Alarms

– Wireless engine cut offs

Revised Fishing vessel Code of practice to be tougher and amended to take account of lessons learnt from recent tragedies.

A New Marine Notice being drafted on use of lifejackets.

· The establishment of a high level working group on safety in the Irish fishing industry.

· A new National Maritime Safety and Emergency Response Strategy to be launched.

· An new enhanced Safety Training Course run by BIM on a five year cycle

Minister Coveney said; "This cross Departmental initiative launched here today is testament to this Governments commitment to improving safety in our fishing fleet. It is about learning from past tragedies, and saving lives in the future."

Minister Varadkar said: "It is appropriate that the launch of this important maritime safety initiative targeted at the fishing sector is taking place here in Union Hall. Those tragic events of January 2012 left a huge impact on the nation as a whole, and reminded the nation of the dangers of the sea. The first ever national maritime safety strategy announced today is about closing any gaps in services, preventing accidents at sea, and through consultation with stakeholders and the general public, striving to reach a situation where we have no fatalities at sea. The launch of BIM's scheme backed up with the changes to the Code of Practice and a continued commitment to regulation and compliance with safety standards will help to engrain a culture of 'safety-first' on the water."

Minister Coveney explained " I am making €800,000 available over the next three years to fund this scheme and aligned with the new excellent enhanced safety training course being rolled out by BIM will focus primarily though not exclusively on operators of small vessels."

Minister Coveney went on to say "I am also establishing a new high level working group on safety in the fishing industry, to look at all aspects of safety on fishing vessels and to report to Minister Varadkar and myself with recommendations before the end of the year. The new working group will be chaired by Mr John Leech current CEO of Irish Water Safety. Because a common thread of comment in recent times has been the need to pay particular attention on issues surrounding the number of small inshore boats that get into difficulty, I have charged the group with focussing to a large degree on this aspect."

Minister Varadkar said: "I firmly believe we can and must do more to prevent tragedies such as those we have seen in the recent past. The bottom line is that we can pass any law we like, but if it is not enforced and we do not have a culture of zero tolerance in regard to non-compliance, we will continue to lose loved ones at sea in the coming years."

To conclude Minister Coveney said: "I am confident that the combined effect of this multi-faceted approach with the full support of both Departments is a major step in the right direction and will achieve results. I know this issue is painful for those who have lost friends and loved ones at sea, however, I hope that they can gain some comfort from the knowledge that something concrete is now being done. The aim is to save lives, we have to see a culture change in our attitudes to safety, and we all have responsibilities in seeing this common held desire become a reality."

A third round of grants will be provided for auto-pilot alarm systems, and consideration is being given to making their use mandatory.

An ongoing safety and equipment training initiative will also be launched and kept under constant review. The new enhanced safety training course run by BIM will be a one day course to be taken by every fisherman every five years throughout their career, it will be a cornerstone of the ongoing safety initiative not only in the use of new equipment but also on bespoke safety procedures.

The first implementation of the new course will feature instruction on the grant aided Personal Locator Beacons, Integrated Personal Floatation devices with Personal Locator Beacons (PFD-PLBs) and auto-pilot alarms. Future courses will bring fishermen up to date on the latest developments in safety techniques, skills and processes.

Published in Fishing
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