The death of a Shetland fisherman has been highlighted in a new campaign on man overboard protection at sea.
The Home and Dry campaign, which launches today, is reminding fishermen to take simple steps to reduce the risk of death from falling overboard.
It follows the news that seven fishermen in the UK died this winter.
The lives lost included Shetland fisherman Joseph Lacaste, 45, who died while working on the trawler Copious in February.
Falling overboard is a major hazard in the fishing industry, with 85 per cent of deaths involving people ending up in the water.
Over the last 10 years, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch reported 60 fatalities from UK fishing vessels, with the highest number of fatalities on vessels under 15 metres.
The Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG) has launched the campaign to prevent man overboard incidents and reduce deaths at sea.
The campaign is reminding fishermen to take three simple steps: complete a written risk assessment and review regularly; practise man overboard drills regularly and always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) on deck for if the worst happens.
Its safety website also includes resources such as videos on how to do a risk assessment, advice on man overboard drills and training and how to wear a PFD.
Derek Cardno, safety officer at the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation which is a member of FISG, said: “This campaign is coming at a crucial time for the fishing industry, with seven fishermen losing their lives over winter we want to ensure fishermen are doing everything they can to keep themselves safe at sea.
“It’s also important to remind vessel owners and skippers that some safety actions are required by law – such as the written risk assessments and wearing a PFD on deck.
“As the weather gets warmer and smaller boats get ready to get back out to sea, we’re asking fishermen to take a moment to see if they could do more to improve safety practices on their vessels.”
Visit www.homeanddry.uk for details on the campaign.