Fishermen whose lifejacket Personal Locator Beacons are registered with ComReg have the best chance of being located if they are involved in an incident at sea, according to BIM, Ireland’s seafood development agency.

BIM All Aboard 2017

Each time a PLB is registered with ComReg, the device’s code is logged and linked with the owner’s personal details. In the event of a fisherman activating the beacon, the PLB code enables the device to be identified through GPS tracking and the emergency services are automatically alerted.

Nick Chopin, BIM wearing a lifejacket fitted with a PLB 

While devices not fully registered with ComReg are still trackable by GPS, the owner cannot be identified and a rescue could be delayed as the services seek to verify the signal.

BIM has joined forces with ‘All Aboard 2017’ – a national initiative to build confidence in digital skills for learning.

Speaking at the launch of the Guide for Fishermen to Register Digital Safety Equipment, BIM Director Donal Maguire said the campaign was an opportunity to alert fishermen to how “straight-forward it is to apply their digital skills”, no matter their skill level and to learn how to register their PLBs with ComReg.

As well as completing BIM’s safety training, the agency is encouraging all fishermen to ensure their PLBs are registered, to maximise their chances of surviving an incident at sea.

All Aboard 2017 is co-funded by The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and Ireland’s higher education institutions.