Providing a financial lifeline for fishermen

Louie has been fishing for all of his adult life, from Bridlington, Grimsby and lastly Plymouth, where he was based for 20 years. For people like Louie who earn a living at sea, the work can be very fulfilling. But with such a challenging job come unpredictable conditions that can quickly change everything and the effects can be devastating.

“When you’re fishing your money goes up and down. When it’s quiet you look for options, like getting a loan. Then it was one thing after another and I couldn’t pay the loan back. I was letting things go and it was making me ill in the end. It really was.”

“The debt companies wouldn’t listen to me when I called and I didn’t know where to turn. It was horrendous and it had to be sorted.”

Feeling desperate and alone, Louie called the Seafarer’s Advice and Information Line (SAIL) which operates with support from Seafarers UK. Louie spoke to a caseworker at SAIL and told her about his situation.

“My caseworker at SAIL went through everything with me. She didn’t just help me, she really talked to me. She explained what was going on and the best way to go about sorting things out.”

“SAIL was such a lifeline,” Louie says. “We sorted out all my debts. Now everything’s organised, the change in my life has just been brilliant.”

With the support he was given, Louie was able to turn his life around and feels positive about the future again. “It’s been life-changing. There must be many other fishermen in the same situation as me. My life is good now because [Sail] helped me out so much and I don’t have the worries I did. I just cannot thank enough.”

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Seafarers UK’s focus on fishing is a result of the Fishing For a Future report published in 2018, that gave us clear evidence of the harsh working conditions faced by our fishermen who put their lives at risk to put food on our tables. Click here to learn more about the report and its findings.