Since January 1st 2019 it is now compulsory for all commercial fishermen to wear a lifejacket or ‘personal flotation device’ (PFD) or use a safety harness at sea to reduce the risk of drowning, this was formerly a recommendation but will now be enforced. See links at end of this article.

“The MCA requires that, unless measures are in place which eliminate the risk of fishermen falling overboard, all fishermen must be provided with, and must wear, PFDs or safety harnesses. The measures preventing man-overboard must be documented in a written risk assessment.”

The Fisherman's Co-op has a range of lifejackets and buoyancy aids that meet regulations for commercial use and it is recommended that anyone out at sea wears a PFD wether they are on a commercial or pleasure craft including canoes and kayaks.

Above: Kenny models a regulation lifejacket showing they are comfortable and compact to wear.

Choose from a variety of styles of lifejackets and buoyancy aids for both adults and children - you can even order a lifejacket for your dog!

What is the difference between buoyancy aids and lifejackets?

Buoyancy aids are simply an aid to buoyancy. It assumes that the wearer is able to help themselves to some degree by swimming to safety or by keeping themselves afloat while assistance arrives if required.

Buoyancy aids are suitable for personal watercraft (PWC), dinghies, windsurfing and generally for activities where the wearer might reasonably expect to end up in the water.

A lifejacket will turn an unconscious person into a safe position and requires no subsequent action by the user to maintain this position.

Lifejackets are suitable when on an open boat (e.g. powerboat or RIB), when going ashore in a yacht tender, on a sailing yacht or motor cruiser and generally where you do not expect to enter the water.

This extract is taken from the RYA for the full article click HERE

The Fishing News has more information on the law regarding PFD's or check Marine Guidance Notice 588(F)