GPS enabled life jackets have been rolled out to the local fishing community after a motion calling upon them to be funded by Cornwall Council was successful.
Looe Cornwall Councillor Armand Toms and Mevagissey Cornwall Councillor James Mustoe put the motion together following the success of a similar scheme in Plymouth.
The total cost of the scheme was £96,000 and has also been joint funded by Seafarers UK and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. The cost of each lifejacket was £360 however those who are eligible only had to pay £30.
The scheme also crucially included mandatory training at the point of purchase, delivered by Clive Palfrey and team, of Seafood Cornwall Training (SCT) on how to fit, maintain and wear the equipment, information on how to service the devices and how to carry out a crew safety review.
Cllr James Mustoe recently met with Lauren Brokenshire from Mevagissey who was the recipient of the overall 500th lifejacket given out from consecutive schemes.
Commenting, James said:
"I am delighted to have seconded Armand Toms throughout this motion."
"Seeing these new GPS enabled life jackets distributed to fishermen in communities like Mevagissey is great and will hopefully save lives, an example where funding from Cornwall Council has made a tangible and positive difference to one our prime industries. "
"Thanks also to Clive Palfrey and team of Seafood Cornwall Training (SCT) for delivering the training, often in challenging conditions!"
Commenting, Armand Toms said:
“This motion was about keeping fisherman safe whilst doing their work. These lifejackets do that and give them a better chance of being rescued. I thank Councillor Mustoe, the Council Officers and all councillors for their support.”
Commenting, Lauren Brokenshire said:
“This scheme has been a great way of making fishermen more aware how quickly things can change even on the finest days and ensuring they are all fitting correctly before they go on the boat.”
“They are compact and comfortable for fishermen to wear whilst working with very minimal things for them to catch on.”
“I Hope it will save more lives at sea and get fishermen wearing their life jackets.”