Safety training for trawlermen

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Indy Politics

Fishermen will be given safety training in an effort to cut the number of deaths and serious accidents at sea, ministers announced yesterday.

Fishermen will be given safety training in an effort to cut the number of deaths and serious accidents at sea, ministers announced yesterday.

In a scheme that will cost £1.5m over the next three years, fishermen will attend courses on accident prevention and be taught how to assess potential dangers at sea.

Elliot Morley, a minister at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said the government funding was intended to cover course fees but would also support trials of hi-tech equipment to make fishing vessels safer.

The latest announcement of grant aid follows a series of accidents at sea, including the sinking of the Solway Harvester, in which seven crew members died. It also follows the announcement of a further £1.5m for Scottish fishermen for safety training.

Mr Morley said he wanted the fishing industry to "develop a positive safety culture" in British waters and conceded that the schemes of past governments to provide grants for safety equipment had failed to reduce accident rates at sea.

The minister said he was currently in talks with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to develop the safety training courses.

"These will include courses to update safety awareness among fishermen hitherto exempt from the requirement for safety training," he said.

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