First year in quarter of century with no deaths in UK’s fishing fleet

An industry long regarded as one of the most hazardous in Scotland has gone a full year without a fatality.

The Marine Investigation Branch, which investigates accidents involving UK vessels worldwide and all boats in Britain’s territorial waters, confirmed what is believed to be a historic first.

As of Friday, there had been no fatalities recorded for the whole UK fishing fleet since September 2 last year.

Industry chiefs hailed it as a “fantastic achievement” for an “inherently dangerous business” following concerted efforts to improve safety at sea.

Simon Potten, head of safety and training at seafood industry body Seafish, said data going back to 1992 suggested the fatality-free year was unprecedented in at least the past 25 years.

Higher casualty numbers in the less safety-conscious times before records began mean the milestone is unlikely to have been achieved before then.

Mr Potten said: “There are encouraging signs that the UK fishing industry is becoming safer.”