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Fishing Vessel Stability Monitor Wins Award

Education & academia

SCOTLAND, UK - An innovative device developed by a Scottish company to prevent tragic fishing vessel accidents at sea has won a prestigious Lloyds List Global Award.

Hook Marine scooped the Innovation Award at the Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2010 for its SeaWise™ Vessel Stability Monitor, which provides early warning of the development of a dangerous situation that could result in vessel capsize. The device works by continually monitoring the rolling motion of a vessel when at sea.

Ken Smith, managing director of Hook Marine, said he was delighted to have received such a top-level accolade for SeaWise™ - but warned that there was very little interest in the device from the UK fishing industry and much work still needed to be done to ensure that fishermen recognised the huge safety benefits it offered.

“It has been most satisfying to receive the Innovation Award for the development of our SeaWise™ Vessel Stability Monitor, which we have produced in response to the considerable loss of life in the commercial fishing industry, not only in the UK, but also in many other countries around the world,” he said.

“Accident reports indicate that around 60 per cent of lives lost in the industry are due to flooding or capsizing of the vessel. We anticipate that the accident rate will be reduced substantially when stability loss is monitored and appropriate action taken by the crew.”

SeaWise™ monitors have been delivered to the USA and Ireland for stability evaluation, and training and demonstration purposes. Expressions of interest have also been received from Australia, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.

But Mr Smith added: “Any new or innovative product is of little use if it is not put to work, and it is hoped that the commercial fishing industry will adopt SeaWise™ and that safety regulators will recommend its use. For the real prize in this enterprise is the reduction in loss of life and losses of vessels at sea.”

The development of SeaWise™ was sponsored by the UK Sea Fish Industry Authority and Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire, and has undergone successful sea trials on different types of vessel.

European Fisheries Fund grant support is available for fishermen purchasing and installing SeaWise™ on their vessels.