As part of our Royal Charter objectives, Seafarers UK is committed to the promotion of safety at sea. Over the past year, we have funded a number of initiatives with the sole purpose of preventing the loss of life at sea.
Seafarers UK partnered with Seafish and the Welsh Fishing Safety Committee (WFSC) on a project providing commercial fishing owners and skippers with Personal Flotation Devices with integrated personal locator beacons. The lifejackets are provided to skippers for individual use and for the use of their crews while working at sea. The ultimate aim of the project and Seafarers UK’s charity investment is to ultimately assist the WFSC target of zero fishing related deaths at sea. The WFSC is inclusive of all commercial Welsh fishermen, who can choose to be represented via a constituted association and / or by free membership of www.safetyfolder.co.uk, an online resource designed to help fishermen manage health and safety on-board their vessels.
As a continuation of our objectives regarding safety at sea, we committed a grant for a joint initiative undertaken by the National Coastwatch Institute, the RNLI and Her Majesty’s Coastguard for two new mobile watchstations. Staffed by volunteers mainly from a seafaring background, these will provide safety watches to benefit fishermen, recreational sailors and coast path users.
Each station is manned by a team of fully trained and dedicated watchkeepers. Stations are equipped with telescopes, radar, telephone and weather instrumentation as well as up to date charts. Watchkeepers come from all walks of life and offer a wide range of skills and experience. Full training ensures that volunteers reach the high standard expected by the NCI and the MCA.
Indeed, with the fine weather enjoyed by many a coastal location, the RNLI released an incident report and stated that the RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards have had four times as many rescues of inflatables so far in summer 2018 than in 2017.