Opening of €2.1 million National Sea Survival Training Pool to bolster Safety at Sea Training for Seafood Sector

(L to R) Cllr Johnny MCGuinness, John D O’Kane, manager Foyle Fisherman’s Co-Op, Cllr Albert Doherty, Cllr Martin Farren, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, Garvan Meehan, College Principal, Caroline Bocquel, CEO, BIM, Aidan Cotter, Chair, Bim, Padraig McLaughlin, TD, and Charles Kavanagh, Officer in charge Greencastle Unit, at the launch of BIM’s new 12 metre Sea Survival Training Pool at the National Fisheries College in Greencastle, Co. Donegal.
Photo byJoe Dunne 24/05/24


A new €2.16 million national sea survival training pool, which will enhance safety at sea for thousands of Irish fishermen and women, was opened today by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD.


The state-of-the-art pool, based at the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) National Fisheries College of Ireland (NFCI) in Greencastle, Co. Donegal, will provide high quality sea survival training for those working in the fishing industry around Ireland. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine investment of €2.16 million means BIM will now be able to deliver more sea survival training courses to students on-site, ensuring additional people working in the seafood sector will have access to these safety training courses. The 12-metre pool is equipped with modern training equipment, and can simulate sea conditions, such as cold, dark water, wind and rain.


Officially opening the facility, Minister Mc. Conalogue said, “I am delighted to be opening this important national resource here in Greencastle today. This purpose-built facility will increase nationwide capability in sea survival training, delivering student-centric courses of the highest quality. The pool, together with the provision of new, modern training equipment means the National Fisheries College in Greencastle can continue to be a centre of learning excellence for the seafood sector.”


BIM’s CEO, Caroline Bocquel, said at the launch today: “Safety at sea is paramount. It is vital that those working in the fishing sector are prepared for the worst-case scenario at sea. Wearing a correctly fitted Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and undergoing safety training and drills are the most effective ways to increase your chances of survival should you be faced with an incident at sea. We are immensely proud of this new facility.”

Referring to BIM research, carried out by Red C in May 2021, she highlighted that, “82% of fishermen personally know someone who has been lost at sea. The research indicated of those that have been on a training course in the past five years, 80% say they either always or most times wear a PFD – this compares to 58% for those that were on a training course more than five years ago or have never been on one before. This training matters. This training saves lives.”

The 12-metre pool is environmentally efficient with modern heat pumps and a heat recovery ventilation system. The water temperature will be kept low, reducing energy consumption and the need for chemical interventions.