A growing number of fishermen are recognising the benefits of wearing free PFDs provided under the safety initiative led by SFF, with over one thousand having been handed out so far. However, the Federation is keen that many more fishermen take advantage of the offer, with the Aberdeen Expo being seen as an ideal venue for skippers and vessel owners to collect PFDs for both themselves and their crews.
To qualify for a free PFD at Aberdeen, skippers need to provide evidence of possession of their full mandatory certification for themselves and their crew. These certificates are in Sea Survival, First Aid, Fire Fighting and Safety Awareness. Fishermen who hold a certificate of competency or service, or who have completed the risk assessment/safety awareness course, are also eligible to receive a free PFD. Seafish certificate details can be checked at the show at the Seafish stand (all that will need to be provided will be the crew members’ date of birth).
All skippers collecting their PFDs at the show will also be given an instruction session on their use and how to wear them properly. Their crews can be shown too if they are present at the same time. Fishing vessels must hold a fishing licence administrated by Marine Scotland but, again, this can also be checked at the show.
Furthermore, any skippers or vessel owners who have already applied for a free PFD can collect their life saving devices at the SFF stand.
Derek Cardno, SFF Safety Officer, said: “Our fishermen have an incredibly challenging and often dangerous job in putting the seafood on our plates and every year a number of men will fall into the sea. In such situations, these personal flotation devices can offer fishermen a second chance if worn.
“Despite the good level of uptake so far, there are still many skippers who haven’t yet registered their interest for free PFDs for themselves and their crews, and the Aberdeen Expo provides an excellent opportunity for them to collect their devices. However, to do so, it is vitally important that they remember to bring evidence of mandatory certification.”
Sharon Boyle of show organiser Mara Media said: “This initiative by the SFF to enable fishermen to collect their free PFDs at the Aberdeen Expo will play an important role in enhancing safety at sea. We urge as many fishermen as possible who are eligible for a free PFD to visit the show and take advantage of this fantastic scheme.”
Skippers and vessel owners from throughout Scotland can apply for their free PFD by downloading the application form on the SFF website (www.sff.co.uk).
The Skipper Expo Int. Aberdeen 2014 will be held in the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre on 30 and 31 May.
More information at www.maramedia.ie or contact Sharon Boyle on 00353 86 840 1250.