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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Safety first

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor

Should we change the law considering the recent loss of life off in Tignish when a fishing boat sank and two fishermen perished?

One really has to wonder why wearing some form of flotation device is not mandatory in this industry? A few weeks ago, the port authority in Summerside passed a law that forced people fishing off the wharf to wear life jackets. This was decided because there existed the possibility of a person falling of the wharf, with nothing to cling too.

Every summer hundreds of visitors go deep-sea fishing, fathers, mothers and children, no one is required to wear a personal flotation device. I realize the fishing boats must be fitted with an approved inflatable raft, but that alone is no guarantee for the passengers or crew. The fishing industry is, if not the most dangerous, it is certainly one of the most dangerous.

Surely common sense tells us that wearing a PFD is a sensible thing to do. However, I realize this is a difficult issue to address. Fishermen will complain they can’t work wearing a bulky PFD, it’s an old and well-used excuse. My own daughter and husband have a boat but only their dog wears a life jacket. I guess it’s that carefree attitude, I can swim and anyway it will never happen to me. That is sadly only true, until it happens.

F. Ben Rodgers,

Abram Village

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