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Economic Development Helping to Make Life Safer for Fishermen

13 February 2008

The Economic Development department (EDD) is supporting an initiative to fit local fishing vessels with a new sensing device that will activate if a man goes overboard.

The system, which is part funded and monitored by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) via satellite, could benefit more than 100 people who regularly go to sea in Jersey registered fishing vessels.

If the fishing vessel is insured through Sunderland Marine Insurance, this company will pick up a proportion of the cost of the initiative and the remainder will be split between the RNLI and EDD. When another insurance company has been used, the C.I Electric Generator Board has agreed to accept this share of the cost.

Minister of Economic Development, Senator Philip Ozouf, has fully supported the initiative, " The Jersey Fisherman's Association first proposed this project to me when I took political responsibility for fisheries last year and I was determined that we provide this life saving technology for our fishermen. Fishing is one of the world's most hazardous occupations and it is important that we make every effort to improve safety for our professional fishermen.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the important work of the RNLI in Jersey. I visited the St Helier station last Saturday and met staff and the Coxan, Andy Hibbs. The RNLI's role in protecting life for all fishermen and boat users is vital and it is unique as being the only volunteer and independent emergency service - protecting lives 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. All volunteers and their many financial supporters deserve our thanks."

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