Hornet News

Life Jackets

Casualty Review Panel gives its findings

This panel is made up of members from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Maritime Accident Investigation Branch, RNLI, maritime industry, academia and sports governing bodies. It meets once a year to discuss the circumstances surrounding fatal maritime incidents, and makes a judgment about whether a life jacket or buoyancy aid might have saved a person's life, have found that the lives of 16 people could have been saved in 2020 if they had been wearing a life jacket while out on the water.

There were 254 accidental drownings in the UK and 10 of them occurred while the victim was sailing.

Of the 32 fatal drownings reviewed, the panel found that half of them could have been prevented if the casualty had been waring a life jacket.

The biggest proportion of fatal incidents last year, where a life jacket could have saved a life, involved anglers fishing from the shore or a boat.

The panel highlighted the need for people to wear a life jacket correctly, ensure that it is properly fitted, well maintained with a light spray hood and a crotch strap. It also made other recommendations such as the importance of checking the weather and tides, carrying a means of calling for help such as a personal locator beacon, phone or VHF radio, and limiting alcohol intake.