New Project Making Personal Locator Beacons Available to NL Fish Harvesters
Fish harvesters will have easier access to a small device which could help save lives in the industry.
A new project will make Personal Locator Beacons (PLB’s) available to the province’s 9,000 harvesters at 40 per cent of the cost. Most fishing vessels are not properly equipped with reliable distress-signaling technology. The FFAW says there are numerous documented cases where a distress signal would have reduced Search and Rescue response time and, potentially, saved lives.
PLB’s are the size of a deck of cards and are easily carried on the crewmember’s person.
Dylan Mitchelmore of Green Island Cove on the Northern Peninsula and crewmate Todd McLean had hauled aboard their last trawl in July 2020 when the vessel took a couple of waves over the side and sank. Mitchelmore had his PLB but McLean did not have time to grab his before they were spilled into the water. Mitchelmore survived but his friend did not. He’s convinced that had McLean been wearing his device, he too would have survived.
Any harvester wishing to acquire one can contact the Fish Harvesters Resource Centre.