Weymouth lobster fisherman drowned due to not wearing lifejacket

Speaking at the inquest of a young Weymouth lobster fisherman earlier this month, a Dorset coroner urged the wearing of lifejackets at all times.

The MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) confirmed that the young man’s drowning was partly due to his not wearing a lifejacket when he was pulled overboard. It also stated that none of the rest of the crew or the vessel, Portland Isle, had been wearing lifejackets while laying lobster pots in rough weather at around midday, 12 December 2006.

Lifejacket manufacturers have welcomed the statement, while acknowledging that working fishermen may have reservations about wearing lifejackets continuously. Geoff Billington of ISP ltd told PBO: ‘Lifejackets can be uncomfortable and a nuisance while working but we have spent many years studying what happens to the human body when it is immersed in the sea. We know that it is incredibly fragile and vulnerable and that the odds of surviving the experience are stacked against the victim. If fishermen shop around to find a lifejacket that is comfortable they should be proud to wear them as a badge of trade.’

Click here to see PBO’s video to accompany our June issue lifejacket design special feature