‘Personal location transmitters for fishermen should be mandatory’ says Doherty

Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty wants location devices to be worn by all fishermen who are out at sea.

PAYING HIS RESPECTS to the the family of the three fishermen who died this week, Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty said more needs to be done to protect the lives of those at sea.

Speaking during Leader’s Questions yesterday, he asked the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore whether the Government would consider making it mandatory for fishermen to wear personal location beacons that would be able to pinpoint their exact location. He said these transmitters can be a wrist watch or attached to the fishermen’s life jacket. He said:

These small transmitters give the location of the person rather than the vessel. I understand the Marine Casualty Investigation Board have made recommendations about this also.

Grief and tragedy

Gilmore said he shared in the sense of grief and tragedy, adding that he knows “a tragedy like this resonates strongly right around the coast”. He said that personal location beacons were under consideration, but said he would need to confirm with Minister Simon Coveney on what progress had been made on the matter. He said:

We do need to ensure that the best safety measures are in place for those that go to sea – it is hazardous. Every resource should be made available to preserve and protect life at sea.

Doherty said the technology is cheap, costing approximately €130. Gilmore said legislation would be required in order to make it mandatory for fishermen to wear such devices at sea.

Read: Deaths of three brothers who drowned off Waterford coast a ‘devastating loss’>

Read: Three fishermen dead after boat capsizes off Co Waterford>

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