The mes­sage is get­ting through

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - FEATURES -

We will all be de­lighted and hugely re­lieved that the fish­ing in­dus­try has not had a sin­gle fa­tal­ity in the past year.

Ex­perts be­lieve it is the first time that this has been achieved in the past quar­ter of a cen­tury, which gives a clear in­di­ca­tion of what an ex­tra­or­di­nary step for­ward this is for the in­dus­try. Sea fish­ing is quite pos­si­bly the most danger­ous job in Bri­tish in­dus­try, with the threat of sud­den death lurk­ing in all di­rec­tions for the en­tire jour­ney.

Try to imag­ine work­ing in that en­vi­ron­ment and un­der such threat for 24 hours a day, and of­ten in hor­ren­dous sea con­di­tions.

How­ever, the hu­man body and mind can adapt to the most shock­ing risks and pres­sures and, per­haps, be­come com­pla­cent or even blase about the dan­ger. Hence the num­ber of fish­ing ac­ci­dents that have been at­trib­uted in of­fi­cial re­ports to hu­man er­ror or fail­ure to fol­low ba­sic safety rules.

Crews have been bat­tered con­stantly with waves of safety warn­ings from in­dus­try lead­ers and watch­dogs, and it looks like the mes­sage is get­ting through at last. Long may it con­tinue be­cause too many fam­i­lies have suf­fered un­told grief.

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