Fishermen to be forced to wear lifejackets

Fishermen have resisted wearing safety gear in the past

LIFEJACKETS could be made compulsory for fishermen as officials look to make the job safer.

New laws, set to be introduced next year, could force crews to wear the safety equipment to cut deaths in one of the UK’s most dangerous jobs.

Around 130 British fishermen have died in the last decade, with many drowning after falling overboard.

Many fishermen have resisted wearing the buoyancy aids as they claim they are too bulky and get in the way when they are working.


But the introduction of smaller, lighter and stronger life vests means their use could become a legal obligation.

The guidelines are currently being developed by the Fishing Industry Safety Group.

They believe the time is right to consider making the use of lifejackets on deck compulsory and have already reached an agreement on the flotation criteria of buoyancy aids.

Group member and Scottish Fisherman’s Federation safety officer, Derek Cardno said: “There has been a resistance from fishermen in the past to wear some form of lifejacket while working but I see a change in the next generation coming into the industry.”