people, who drowned in 2018, might be alive today had they been wearing a
lifejacket or buoyancy aid. This is one of the main findings of this year’s
Casualty Review Panel  who met earlier this year to discuss last
year’s maritime fatalities.
which includes representatives of the RYA, reviewed 22 fatalities from 2018 and
agreed that 11 lives  may have been saved if they had been
wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, down on last year’s figure of 13 lives
(out of 27 fatalities).
In the 12
years that the Panel has been meeting, is has recorded that 200 lives may have
been saved by wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.
majority of incidents in 2018 involved commercial fishermen (including
accidents at fish farms) and anglers, many of which happened in Scottish Sea
Panel’s overriding advice was to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid appropriate
to your activity which is proven to greatly improve your chances of surviving. The Panel also recommended that people consider the following
additional safety measures dependant of their activity:
Carrying a VHF DSC radio and
knowing how to use it to contact the Coastguard or other vessels
- Carrying a PLB or EPIRB  will help rescuers to locate you and
even if you’re unconscious the alarm will be raised.
Downloading the RYA SafeTrx app on your phone and using it
in an emergency could make all the difference.
- Wearing appropriate clothing and
carrying the right safety equipment for your sport, particularly rock anglers
and sport fishermen wading in slippery rivers.
- Making sure your equipment is properly
fitted, for example wearing a lifejacket that is correctly sized with a crotch
strap attached. This
follows a case where a yachtsman died because he was wearing a lifejacket that
was not properly fitted, had ridden up and did not keep his head above water.
Advisor Andrew Norton said: “The findings of this year’s Casualty Review Panel
highlight the importance of wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid when on or
near the water. The RYA recommends that you wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid unless you are sure you don't need to.
base this decision on factors such as weather conditions, the type of activity
you are doing and your level of experience. If you are a beginner or still
relatively inexperienced, making these judgements is often not that easy, so if
this is the case, wear one at all times.”
is focusing on important safety issues such as lifejacket wear this year.
Tomorrow (Wednesday 3 July) as part of this, Nusrat Ghani MP will be meeting
with other ministers and the fishing industry to talk about fishing vessel
safety, as well as visiting an RYA Recognised Training Centre to learn about
sailing programmes for young people.
RYA Safe Boating for
information on lifejackets, buoyancy aids and other important safety matters.
 The Casualty Review Panel
comprises representatives from: 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
covers mostly coastal incidents. Other inland fatal angling incidents, where a
lifejacket might have saved a life may have occurred during 2018 but these are
not included for this exercise.
 These figures refers to those
people who probably or possibly could have been saved had they been wearing a
lifejacket or buoyancy aid. Where it would have been appropriate for a person
to be wearing buoyancy, this was recorded.
 Personal Location Beacon or
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon