31/03/2005

Coastguards launch initiative for safer sea angling

Coastguards in Northern Ireland will be targeting sea anglers over the summer with a new initiative which aims to improve angling safety awareness.

The six-month initiative, which will also involve coastguards in Scotland, will be run in all Scottish and Northern Ireland Coastguard Districts and will involve newly appointed liaison officers and local auxiliary Coastguards.

These staff will disseminate safety information to as many groups and individuals as possible. Safety literature will be also be distributed through fishing tackle outlets, harbours and boat launching sites.

Project leader Bill Speirs said: “The initiative’s aim is to reduce the number of incidents and increase safety awareness amongst sea anglers in Scotland & Northern Ireland.

“The need for proper safety equipment, marine radio, boat and engine maintenance will be highlighted, in particular to sea anglers who are not affiliated to angling or boat clubs.

”Whilst not wishing to spoil sea anglers’ enjoyment of our marine environment, some do put to sea in unsuitable craft, without proper lifesaving equipment. Sadly, lack of experience and poor preparation can all too quickly end in tragedy”.

Details of the project and the safety message can be found on the relevant Safety Information page of the MCA website.

(MB/SP)

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