Friday, 1 March 2013


The Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Sir Alan Massey, is today in Northern Ireland meeting with the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.

Sir Alan is meeting David Dickens, Chief Executive of the charity, in Kilkeel to discuss how best to work together in future.
The Fisherman’s Mission, as it is known, is one of many organisations with whom the MCA regularly liaises. The charity provides emergency support and practical care to fishermen and their families, and has a close interest in safety and welfare within the fishing industry.
Sir Alan Massey said:
"Working together with the Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG), we are all keen to nurture improvements in the safety of commercial fishing vessel operations".
"In particular, we want to encourage a culture where it becomes normal practice for all fishermen to wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when out at sea. The Mission’s excellent and unstinting work in support of fishermen and their families is integral to our collective efforts.”
David Dickens, Chief Executive of The Fishermen’s Mission, said:
"All too often The Mission staff has to deal with the devastating aftermath of death or serious injury of fishermen at sea. The Mission is keen to engage with all agencies and organisations that seek to reduce the number and severity of incidents in fishing and a positive engagement with the MCA is both natural and essential in bringing the safety message to all involved in the industry.”
Two short films have been made to encourage fishermen to wear lifejackets. They can be seen at: and
26 fishermen could still be alive today had they been wearing a lifejacket when they were involved in an incident at sea (2007-11 figures).
UPDATE: 15.30 Friday 1 March
Following today's meeting, Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the MCA, said:
"I am impressed by how all interested parties are pulling together to support the welfare of fishermen, including The Fishermen's Mission, fish producers organisations, harbour authorities and local communities.
"I am also impressed at the work that's being doing in Kilkeel and Portavogie in particular, to encourage necessary safety standards for the benefit of all fishermen."