North West Wales

Bereaved family join RNLI in fisherman safety campaign

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Media captionA report found equipment on Gareth's boat was in a "dangerously poor condition"

The sister of a man killed in a boat accident in Gwynedd has pleaded for other fishermen to take greater care of their safety.

Iona Hughes' brother Gareth Jones, 36, died while fishing off the Llyn Peninsula on 30 March 2014.

Ms Hughes made the call as part of a new RNLI fisherman safety campaign.

They are asking the industry to apply for European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) funding to replace old and dangerous deck machinery.

Mr Jones, of Morfa Nefyn, died after becoming tangled up on his vessel's winch while fishing for scallops. An accident report found the winch was in a "dangerously poor condition".

Image copyright RNLI/ family picture

Ms Hughes, of Y Ffor, Gwynedd, said: "I don't know how to express how awful it was, for us as a family and the whole community, when we heard that Gareth had died.

"Fishing can be a dangerous job, so fishermen need to do everything they can to stay as safe as possible.

"My message is simple - at the end of a day's fishing, you need to come home safe to your families. Take advantage of this European funding to improve the safety of your boats."

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Iona Hughes at the beach at Porthdinllaen where her brother Gareth died

Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, who has known the family for many years, has lent her support to the campaign.

"I understand the financial pressures many commercial fishermen are under. That's why I'd encourage them to take advantage of the funding," she said.

In 2016, the RNLI carried out 43 commercial fishing-related lifeboat launches and 60 people were rescued in Wales.

Frankie Horne, RNLI fishing safety manager, said accidents involving deck machinery can have "devastating consequences", including causing life-changing injuries.

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