A new strategy aimed at reducing the number of fatalities at sea has been launched by Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe.
The new Maritime Safety Strategy covers 2015 – 2019 with the theme “Make Time for Maritime Safety”.
The Minister was at the Coast Guard Centre in Dublin to launch the strategy along with Irish Coast Guard Director Chris Reynolds.
It was developed following a consultation with key stakeholders and the general public and includes an analysis of the factors contributing to maritime fatalities in Ireland.
Having studied reports from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) reports, several key factors leading to maritime casualties were highlighted, among them:
– The need for an enhanced maritime safety culture
– Unsuitable or inadequately maintained safety equipment on board, or lack thereof
– Lack of crew training
– Failure to plan journeys safely, including failure to take sea/weather conditions into account
– Non-wearing of personal flotation device (lifejacket/buoyancy aid)
– Vessel unseaworthy, unstable and/or overloaded
Minister Donohoe said: “Although the average annual number of marine incident-related fatalities, at 11, is low, lives continue to be lost on the water, despite regulation, inspections and training. Perhaps not surprisingly, most incidents happen in the fishing and recreational sectors. What is striking, however, is the fact that 99% of maritime fatalities are male, with an average age of 44, and that fatalities in the maritime sector are potentially avoidable.”