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Fishing crews to be given defibrillators as part of £360,000 safety campaign

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Fishing crews across the country are being given onboard defibrillators as part of a £360,000 safety drive.

Marine Fund Scotland has allocated £140,000 to industry body Seafish for free safety training, which will be match funded by the Maritime Coastguard Agency.

The Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA) will receive a further £80,000 through MFS to provide around 100 defibrillators to its members.

The equipment is essential during long fishing voyages in the seas around the north of Scotland, where crews are isolated from medical assistance.

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The awards are some of the first to be made through the MFS, a one-year fund aimed at investing in marine industries, seafood sector and the marine environment.

Fishermen will be given additional training in case of a life-theartening emergency. Photo by Christian Handl.

Funding is ‘great news’ for industry

Derek Cardno, co-chairman of the SFSG, based in Aberdeen, said: “This is great news for fishermen across Scotland. The funding will encourage more fishermen to do any safety training that they feel is vital to help keen them and their fellow crew members safe.

“It will also help career-minded fishermen to gain the qualifications they need to become the skippers, mates and engineers that the Scottish fishing industry needs.”

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “This funding will help to deliver vital fishing safety training to our fishing fleet, while the provision of defibrillators will provide crucial assistance while at sea.

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“In the case of sudden cardiac arrest, we know the sooner a defibrillator can be deployed the better the survival chances.

“These units are easy to use and the supplier will provide training courses and service the equipment.”

Ms Gougeon said the funding would support the work of the Scottish Fishing Safety Group (SFSG) to improve health and safety on vessels and reduce industry accidents.

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