Maritime and Coastguard Agency inspectors are required to carry out unannounced inspections of fishing vessels across the UK.
The inspections are carried out as part of the ongoing work on fishing vessel safety in an industry known to be one of the most dangerous in the world.
Since November 2020, there have been 8 deaths, more than 10% of the total for the past 10 years. Between 2011 and 2020, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) reported 60 deaths on British fishing vessels.
The MCA has worked solidly with the fishing industry, reinforcing messages on the legislative requirements for safety standards for crews and vessels.
Inspectors regularly visit and inspect fishing vessels and detain those that do not meet the requirements of the law, until these deficiencies are corrected.
The MCA has also worked with industry and other partners to get the message out about wearing personal flotation devices. However, the agency has said it can and will take action when it believes advice is being ignored and safety is not taken seriously.
Tony Heslop, Assistant Director, Land Survey and Inspection (South) said:
“Fishing is one of the most dangerous industries in the world. For many years, we have been spreading the message about the importance of wearing life jackets and ensuring that fishing vessels are fit for use under the survey and inspection regime.
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“While education is important and we will continue to do so, the app is also necessary for those who consistently ignore our message, to highlight why this is important and why we take it seriously.”
Fraser Heasley, Assistant Director, Survey and Inspection (North) said:
“The MCA continues to work with the industry, including the Fishing Industry Safety Group, as part of our continued commitment to reduce the deaths that cause so much heartache and sadness to so many people. “