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Fishing Vessels: Safety

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 11 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has had with Irish Water Safety on the Irish experience of the impact of the introduction of compulsory personal flotation devices for fishing crews and some leisure sailors; and if she will make a statement. (156840)

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has been monitoring the experience of the Irish Department of Transport Maritime Safety Directorate with interest and regular contact has taken place regarding the introduction of regulations requiring the wearing of personal flotation devices.

Research has also recently been undertaken by the MCA to assess the approach taken to the wearing of lifejackets adopted by other countries, and the effect on casualty statistics, and the MCA is currently reviewing the findings.

On a daily basis, the MCA reviews maritime leisure fatalities to assess whether the wearing or carrying of a lifejacket might have saved a life.

On the basis of this ongoing work, the National Water Safety Forum has recently approved an initiative by the MCA and in partnership with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the Royal Yachting Association and the British Marine Federation to investigate a three to five-year national lifejacket campaign.