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Fishing: Accidents

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how many fishermen fatalities could have been avoided between 1992 and 2006 if all fishing vessels were required to carry emergency positioning beacons. [HL721]

The emergency positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) plays a vital role in alerting the search and rescue authorities in cases where it is not possible to send an effective mayday alert, enabling a prompt and targeted search response. However, survival also depends on many other factors such as availability and use of lifejackets and liferafts, injuries sustained by crew, susceptibility to cold shock, weather conditions, and distance offshore, among others. For these reasons it is not possible to assess how many fishermen's fatalities could have been avoided if all fishing vessels were required to carry emergency positioning beacons.