A Donegal councillor is calling for the launch of a pilot programme to add location tracking devices to fishermen’s life jackets.
Cllr Martin McDermott says recent tragic incidents in Inishowen have highlighted a need for the life-saving technology.
The Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) operates when somebody falls into the water. The beacon activates and sends a signal to a satellite that alerts the coast guard of the life jacket’s location.
“In the last 2-3 years, there have been a couple of incidents where if this life jacket was worn people would not be in the water for hours and may still be alive today,” Cllr McDermott told the September sitting of Donegal County Council.
Cllr McDermott has called on the council to seek European funding to launch a pilot program in Donegal to fit and promote the jackets to the fishing industry and pleasure boat sailors.
He said that it costs an estimated £700 to fit a life jacket with the EPIRB, but with funding, the devices could be more widely available at an estimated €100.
“If one person’s life was saved this would be well worth doing,” Cllr McDermott said, adding that the ethos of wearing life jackets must be promoted more among fishermen and casual sailors.Tags: