AROUND 200 specially designed life jackets have been distributed free to fishermen throughout Cornwall thanks to The Fishermen’s Mission in Newlyn.
Last week, despite the terrible weather, fishermen from as far afield as Looe, Mevagissey and Padstow in addition to those closer to home converged on the port for safety sessions organised by the Mission in partnership with Seafish, a government sponsored fisheries body.
Julian Waring, the Mission’s centre manager, said: “One of the Mission’s most important duties is to promote and whenever possible, provide safety equipment for active fishermen.
“Recently we have partnered with local authorities in Northern Ireland and Scotland and we were able to distribute lifejackets to fishermen in these communities and now we have secured European funding to provide lifejackets for fishermen here in Cornwall.”
Mr Waring said that at the safety course videos were shown including the story of one Irish fisherman whose boat went down less than a month after getting a lifejacket – since then he has purchased a second jacket and framed the other as a reminder of what saved his life.
Mr Waring said that the lifejackets had been specially designed so that they do not interfere with the many different jobs that a fisherman carries out on board.
“There’s not much point in getting a lifejacket unless you wear it and these are comfortable and do not interfere with what they are doing,” he added.
“It was particularly pleasing that so many under 10 metre skippers and crew from our local West Cornwall coves came along and took advantage of the free lifejacket offer.”