15 February 2016
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, today announced plans for a €1.5 million Sea Survival Training Centre at BIM’s National Fisheries College in Greencastle, Co. Donegal.
Pictured at the announcement of BIM's plans for a €1.5 million Sea Survival Training Centre at BIM National Fisheries College, Greencastle, Donegal are Captain James Hegarty, Principal, Paul Cunningham, Class 3 Engineering Student, Killybegs, Donegal, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and Department of Communications with special responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh, T.D and Tara McCarthy, BIM CEO
This exciting new development will include a state of the art 15 metre simulator pool with an elevated platform equipped with a wave machine, water spray unit and fans to reproduce extreme weather conditions, two changing areas, a self-contained heating unit capable of maintaining water temperature of 23 -28 degrees Celsius, a water treatment unit and a classroom for 16 students. The new facility will significantly complement the extensive training infrastructure already in place in the college including a Fire Fighting Unit, a fully integrated fishing vessel simulator, vessel dry land trawler deck, engine room and workshop and seven classrooms.
During a tour of the College, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Communications with Special Responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh, T.D. welcomed the project; ‘I fully support BIM’s plans for a new Sea Survival Training Centre at the BIM National Fisheries College, Greencastle. As a fishing community, Greencastle and the wider Donegal region are only too aware of the dangers fishermen face every time they go to sea. When you consider that 53 fishermen have lost their lives at sea in the last ten years and according to national figures, fishing is approximately 13 times more dangerous than construction and 36 times more dangerous than general employment, we must ensure we are providing our fishermen with the safest boats, the best safety technology and the best training to prepare them for all eventualities. I am pleased to say that BIM do an exemplary job delivering this service and the plans for this new centre will ensure the National Fisheries College, Greencastle is delivering a bespoke training service to our fishermen and a safer industry as a result’
Training in Personal Survival Techniques is a vital part of BIM’s Safety at Sea programme and is a mandatory requirement for all fishermen before they go to sea.
Tara McCarthy, BIM’s CEO explains how BIM are delivering this important service to industry and why; ‘We recently ran a nationwide advertising campaign called ‘Live to Tell the Tale’ designed to strike a chord with fishermen; to change their behaviour and to ask them to wear a Personal Flotation Device as they would wear a seat belt in a car. The safety training we deliver throughout the year was a key part of the campaign. Without the right training fishermen will not know how to react when faced with an accident at sea. With an average of four fishermen losing their lives at sea every year, preparing fishermen for the worst case scenario is crucial to reducing fatalities. The new BIM Sea Survival Training Centre will allow our trainers to test what fishermen have learnt in the classroom with the reality of a genuine incident at sea against a range of adverse weather conditions. This latest plan will bolster our existing nationwide training service that delivered 207 courses, in 25 locations to 1,700 students equating to 14,000 contact hours last year’
BIM’s Sea Survival Training Centre is expected to be completed by 2017 and will serve fishermen from Clare, Galway, Sligo, Donegal and the Northern Counties of the East Coast including Louth and Dublin. This latest project will bring the National Fisheries College in line with international best practice and will add to BIM’s extensive training infrastructure including the National Fisheries College, Castletownbere and two mobile Coastal Training Units that deliver training to every port in Ireland.