Fishermen face danger every time they set sail upon the waves and in the last ten years 53 fishermen have lost their lives at sea. One key component ensuring safety at sea is the highest quality training for all weather conditions. And it’s coming. In move that should be applauded, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) announced plans this week for a €1.5 million Sea Survival Training Centre at the National Fisheries College, Greencastle, Co. Donegal.
Before heading off to sea all fishermen are required to take a mandatory survival techniques course. Theory is good but getting to practice techniques in real life simulations could make the difference in saving a life. This new facility, that is expected to be complete by 2017, will have a state of the art 15m pool with a wave machine, water spray and fans that can recreate harsh and extreme weather conditions. As well as classrooms, fishing vessel simulators, engine room and workshop.
BIM have also made it a point to try and change attitudes as well as practices towards safety at sea. The recent campaign ‘Live to Tell the Tale’ raised awareness of the dangers of the sea and tried to persuade fishermen to complete the safety training and wear their personal floatation devices at all times when out on the sea.