Why should I wear a Lifejacket or Buoyancy Aid when i’m angling?

The lives of at least nine anglers may have been saved in 2012; had they been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. Of the nine anlgers that died; seven were shore-based.

Fishing from the rocks

In 2012, five of the seven shore anglers who might have been saved had they been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid – were fishing from rocks. Over the last six years, at least 41 might have been saved if they had worn some form of buoyancy device. Most anglers recognise the importance of wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid when they are onboard a small boat. But do you wear one when you’re fishing from rocks?

Unexpected large waves can wash you off rock marks. Be aware and prepare, by wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

Who has compiled these statistics?
These figures have been compiled by an expert panel review comprising: Angling Trust, RNLI, Royal Yachting Association, Marine Accident Investigation Branch, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, National Water Safety Forum, British Canoe Union, the lifejacket industry, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and University of Portsmouth.

The panel uses data supplied from Coastguard and MAIB databases and therefore only covers coastal incidents. Other inland fatal angling incidents, where a lifejacket might have saved a life may have occurred during 2012, but these are not included for this exercise.

In March 2013 the panel reviewed the Coastguard/MAIB data and assessed whether a lifejacket or buoyancy aid would have made a difference in saving a person’s life. A decision was made about whether it was probable, possible or unlikely that the person would have been saved by wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. The panel also took into consideration factors such as whether the lifejacket or buoyancy aid was suitably maintained, correctly worn and fit for purpose. In some cases it was not appropriate for the person to be wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, for example swimmers.

Figures for all activities
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) recorded 132 maritime fatalities in 2012. The expert panel reviewed 45 of these where the casualty might have worn a lifejacket or buoyancy aid (so cliff fallers, suicides and so on were not included).

Of the 45 fatalities, the panel judged that it may have been appropriate for 27 people to have been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. Of these 27, the panel agreed that 20 would probably or could possibly have been saved had they been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

Figures have been compiled by the panel for the last six years and during that period the panel judged that 136 people’s lives might have been saved had they been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.
Read the full blog at: http://hmcoastguard.blogspot.co.uk/
Read Personal Buoyancy Afloat: http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/professional/bouyancyafloat.asp