Plaid MP helps launch boat deck safety campaign

Liz Saville Roberts MP with Nick Fecher and Frankie Horne of the RNLI

Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Liz Saville Roberts has helped launch a campaign to prevent commercial fishermen from being injured or killed by deck machinery whilst out at sea.

The RNLI’s Deck Machinery Safety Campaign comes as a direct response to the death of Pen Llŷn fisherman Gareth Jones, who succumbed to injuries sustained when he became entangled in a winch drum on board his scallop dredger off the coast of Porthdinllaen two years ago.

The RNLI has secured funding worth almost £230m in a joint venture between the European Marine Fisheries Fund and the UK Government. It is anticipated that funding for Wales via the Welsh Government will be officially launched in February. Four people have been killed and 85 people have been seriously injured by deck machinery in the last four years.

Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “I was pleased to join the RNLI at the launch of their deck machinery safety campaign, which comes as a direct response to the terrible death of Gareth Jones two years ago.”

“Gareth was a fisherman born and bred whose one wish was to own his own vessel. Financial pressures led to him working alone.”

“Fishermen are well aware of the dangers associated with going to sea on their own, but many find themselves in a position where they have no alternative. When he had his accident he had no means of escape and became tangled in the winch drum of his trawler.”

“This European funding will enable fishermen to replace outdated and dangerous deck machinery, and fit emergency safety buttons or levers which stop equipment when they’re released.”

“For the sake of your family and friends I would urge all those involved in the commercial fishing industry to fill in the forms and make sure this money is spent to save lives.”