UK panel looked at five years of fatal maritime accidents

On the heels of PBO editor Sarah Norbury’s dramatic account of falling overboard (Waiting for the tide, current June issue PBO on sale now) comes a sobering report on boating fatalities from the DFT.

The Casualty Review Panel has revealed that 95 maritime deaths in the last five years might have been prevented by the wearing of a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

The MCA announced the findings on its website today, following collation of the figures after the panel’s annual meeting in March.

They considered 120 fatalities and found that only 25 of these could not possibly have been saved by a lifejacket.

While fishing, particularly commercially, is known to be an especially hazardous activity, alighting from your boat is not a situation where most would wear a lifejacket. However, twelve people died transferring between vessel and shore or vice-versa, with two-thirds of those having consumed alcohol beforehand.

The Casualty Review Panel is made up of delegates from the MCA, RNLI, RYA, and representatives from the marine industry and educational institutions.

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