Life Cell Marine Safety has been included in a new initiative established by EDF Energy Renewables, which will support local fishermen operating from coastal locations between Hartlepool and Saltburn by the Sea, who have used the fishing grounds in and around the Teesside offshore wind farm.
The new programme aims to provide essential safety equipment for personnel and vessels in line with Marine and Coastguard Agency for fishing vessel operators. The scheme will provide Life Cell models to local fishermen, ensuring they have essential safety equipment in a readily accessible location in the event of an emergency.
The Life Cell is used as a flotation device, which can float free or be easily removed from a vessel. It can also be safely and easily removed after each day’s fishing to reduce the possibility of theft of essential safety equipment.
James Wilson, local fishing liaison officer with EDF Energy Renewables, said: “Our aim has always been to ensure that the wind farm can co-exist safely and effectively with local fishing activities.
“We have maintained close contact with the local fishermen at all stages of the project and we are delighted to be able to provide support for this very important local activity and community.
“The dedicated new fishing support programme will provide targeted assistance for specific fishing activity needs and will hopefully provide a positive contribution to the activities of local fishing groups and individual operators.”
The new programme will be managed by Tees Valley Community Foundation (TVCF) in association with Coastwatch Redcar.
Trevor Smith, chairman of Coastwatch Redcar, said: “We are delighted to participate in this initiative. Ensuring that local fishing boat operators are equipped with vital safety equipment is a natural extension to our role in supporting HM Coastguard with local surveillance activities and helping those in trouble at sea.
“The new equipment being provided could make a real difference to the safety of small fishing boat operators and their crews who find themselves in difficulty and we would encourage all local fishermen to take up this generous offer from EDF Energy Renewables.”