21 April 2015
The lives of three fishermen whose vessel capsized off the Wicklow coast on the 15th April were saved thanks to the safety training they completed with BIM and the personal locator beacon built into their lifejackets that alerted the coast guard to their plight.
The MFV ‘Lavicca’ lobster boat capsized in the Irish Sea at about 2.30pm and the men managed to get on board a life-raft. The personal locator beacons on the crew’s lifejackets were activated when the vessel sank alerting the Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Dublin.
The Rescue 116 helicopter based at Dublin Airport was tasked to the location which was about six nautical miles east of Six Mile Point in Wicklow. The men were airlifted to Tallaght Hospital where they were treated for hypothermia but were discharged a short time later.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board deliver vital safety training courses and grant-aid schemes for safety equipment to fishers around the country and as Michael Keatinge, BIM’s Interim CEO explains there is no doubt that this saved the lives of these fishers: ‘We are so glad that this incident had a good outcome as there are already far too many fatalities at sea especially amongst the inshore fleet. This is a strong message to all fishers that safety training is so important. We provided safety training to these fishermen as part of our Enhanced Safety Scheme, which not only arms fishermen with the knowledge of what to do in an accident but it also provides grant-aid towards the new compact Personal Flotation Devices with an integrated personal locator beacon that alerts emergency services should there be no time to deliver a mayday call. The scheme has been extremely successful with 1,000 fishers completing the training to date. I would urge any fishers who have not availed of this scheme to do so to ensure they stay safe at sea’