Funding for Personal Flotation Devices with Personal Location Beacons

Fishing vessel owners in the UK can claim £200 per item against the cost of buying vital safety equipment for their crew.

We are supporting a fund made available from maritime charity Trinity House and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to help fishing vessel owners in the UK buy Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) with Personal Location Beacons (PLBs) included. 

It is now law to wear a PFD when working on a fishing vessel under the ILO188 Working in Fishing Convention, unless a risk assessment shows no PFD is necessary. Find out more about ILO188 on

What funding is available?

Fishing vessel owners can claim back up to £200 on the cost of a PFD with a PLB for each person who works on the vessel. PLBs can also be purchased to add to your existing PFDs. 

The PFDs must comply with the minimum standards which are available to read on the related Marine Guidance Note on

Funding is available on a first come, first served basis until the fund runs out. 

Important safety notice!

If you plan to fit a PLB to an existing or new PFD then you must contact the manufacturer of the PFD or their APPROVED servicing agent for instructions on how to fit it correctly. Fitting a PLB incorrectly can be a safety issue and you should always make sure that the PLB has been installed correctly. Read our latest safety announcement for more information on this.

Who is eligible for funding?

Owners of UK registered commercial fishing vessels which:

  • are currently active 
  • have not previously received support for purchasing PLBs. You can apply for the cost of adding a PLB if you previously received funding to purchase PFDs.

To qualify for funding, owners must apply to Seafish for approval before buying their preferred PFDs/PLBs. 

We’ll check with the MCA and the relevant Fisheries Department to confirm the accuracy of the information provided in an application. The information we check is:

  • personal details
  • vessel ownership
  • license held 
  • vessel is currently active

How can you apply?

To apply for funding, please:

  • download a PFD/PLB funding application form (This will open as a Microsoft Word document)
  • provide a specification of the equipment you want to buy
  • a quote from the preferred supplier 
  • the number of items required to equip all the crew on their vessel

Completed application forms should be returned by email to

On receipt of an application, Seafish will check the details provided and then write to the applicant to confirm eligibility and provide a claim form if your application is successful.

We are receiving a high number of PLB grant application forms. Please allow 10 working days for your application to be processed.

Making a claim 

Applicants have three months from receipt of approval letter to make a purchase and send in a claim. You’ll get a claim form with the letter confirming success of your application.

Funding will not be awarded retrospectively. You must complete the application form and be in receipt of a letter confirming success of your application before purchasing equipment to be eligible for reimbursement.

Do you need help?

For more information on this scheme and other safety training, get in touch with the Training team.

Seafish Training
01472 252 302