Twenty five young people from Cornwall’s fishing community have been equipped with essential lifesaving skills following the success of a new, one day ‘sea safety’ course developed and delivered by Seafood Cornwall Training, Cornwall’s dedicated Fish Industry Training School based in Newlyn.
The training took place at Carn Brea Leisure Centre, Pool, Redruth on the 2nd & 3rd August, attended by participants from across Cornwall; from Penzance, the Lizard to St Austell. The training was provided free of charge, thanks to the support of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO) and Falfish, Cornwall’s largest fish processing company.
Aimed at young people currently involved in, or considering a future in the fish industry, the course included key elements of fishermen’s training in Safety Awareness; Fire Fighting and Prevention; First Aid; and Sea Survival.
Sarah Crosbie, Manager of Seafood Cornwall Training explained why the course had been developed, “Many young people from Cornish fishing and coastal communities spend time at sea without any safety training or knowledge of how to act in an emergency situation. Whilst it is a requirement for all fishermen to complete mandatory safety training, under 16’s cannot be issued with certificates. Our one day, introductory level course will equip young fishermen with essential skills as well as serving as an informative taster day for those wishing to find out more about a future in the fishing industry.”
Sam Lambourn, Chairman of the CFPO and Newlyn fisherman, who instigated the course, commented, “My son Tom is fishing from a 16ft punt out of Newlyn most days, especially over the holidays. He’s fishing pots and handlining for mackerel. I supported the course as there seemed to be an urgent need for Tom, and other youngsters like him, to have a basic idea about first aid, sea survival and basic fire fighting. This not only helps teenagers, both girls and boys, based around Cornish ports that are very keen and out on boats, but also those young lads who are interested in a career in fishing. It’s great that Seafood Cornwall Training have put this course together, following its success they will hopefully run some more and it could go on from there. We won’t ever stop these youngsters getting onto boats, so the best we can do is make sure they are well equipped to survive if something goes wrong. Fishing is a good career with good prospects, if this has the double benefit of helping youngsters access the industry, all well and good.”
The new course has been highly praised by participants and parents alike.
Mrs Kate Phillips, the wife of Cadgwith fishermen Danny Phillips enrolled her two sons Tommy (aged 15) and Jamma (aged 12) on the course, “This course was an answer to my prayers. The two boys spend all summer fishing in a small boat off Cadgwith and I was absolutely delighted when I heard that this training was being offered, as were many of my friends in Cadgwith with children doing the same. Now I won’t be as worried while they are at sea, as at least I’ll know they are aware of how to get out of a dangerous situation or undertake basic first aid. Also, the boys obviously had a great time and have learned a lot which is great.”
Tom Adams, from White Gold Cornwall Care in the Community signed up Josh (aged 16) from Camborne, “It’s been an excellent day; Josh has learnt lots of valuable information. Josh wants to go into deep sea fishing, so for him it’s been a great first step and appears to have raised his self esteem no end. Off the back of this initial taster day, he could have a career as a fisherman.”
The students were just as enthusiastic.
Tom Lambourn (aged 15), Sam Lambourn’s son, explained, “I now have a much better understanding of how to prevent and cope with emergencies at sea. The liferaft session in the swimming pool was a lot of fun.”
Neeve Raymond (aged 13), one of only two girls on the course and daughter of David Raymond, a fisherman and volunteer crewman on the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat, added, “This course is really useful to have, I go out on boats all the time so I will definitely be more aware and able to deal with difficult situations.”
Ben Rowse (aged 15), son of Newlyn fisherman Mark Rowse, explained, “I wanted to go on this course as I cannot go on the fishermen’s courses until next year when I am 16. I want to go into fishing and out on boats. I really enjoyed the practical parts of the course, as I’ve seen liferafts on boats but didn’t know how you would use one. It was a really enjoyable day, not just in the classroom but in the water as well.”
The three course tutors, who have extensive experience training adults also really enjoyed the two days training.
Mike Collier MBE, led the Safety Awareness session and commented, “It was great to watch the light bulbs come on as I was explaining how easily accidents can happen at sea and more importantly how they can be prevented. I could tell they knew what I was talking about and would be putting into practice what they learnt. Awareness is everything when you are at sea and only have what you know to help you, training like this is priceless.”
Wayne Davey; paramedic, fisherman and RNLI Penlee Lifeboat crewman delivered the First Aid and Sea Survival aspects of the course, said, “They were a great bunch of teenagers, I am confident that they have learnt some valuable skills today and will know how to react when faced with any potential challenges at sea.”
Paul Postill, from Ocean Engineering (Fire) Ltd, who delivered the fire fighting part of the course, added, “Most of the youngsters hadn’t held a fire extinguisher before, so it was really good to show them how to use one and demonstrate how easily fires can start and how to deal with them. It was a good educational tool for everyone on the course.”
Paul Trebilcock, Chief Executive of the CFPO, one of course sponsors explained, “I saw the tail end of the second day and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves while learning some valuable lessons. We hope that some of the participants will be the next generation of fishermen supporting the future of Cornwall’s fishing industry.”
Mark Greet from Falfish, who also sponsored the course, added, “It was great to see the safety training going on at Carn Brea Centre, everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the course, especially climbing in and out of the liferafts. Seafood Cornwall Training and their instructors are doing an excellent job providing vital training for under 16’s, the future fishermen of Cornwall.”
The liferafts used were donated by Viking, a market leader in maritime safety, providing and servicing essential safety equipment. All candidates received a certificate of attendance from Seafood Cornwall Training upon completion of the day.