Man Overboard Awareness Events

A series of training events to make those working on fishing vessels more aware of the dangers of man overboard incidents. 

Falling overboard is the single biggest cause of workplace fatalities in the fishing industry. In 2021, ten fishermen tragically lost their lives at sea. Six of these were recorded as man overboard fatalities by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.  

What to expect 

The in-water awareness events, in partnership with the RNLI, explain how to reduce the risk in going overboard and what can be done to improve the chances of survival. Participants will experience a man overboard emergency under controlled conditions. The pools use wind, rain and waves to make the experience more realistic.

A group of men in a training swimming pool with flotation devices on as part of a training exercise.
The environment pools aim to create some of the conditions experienced at sea with a wave machine and rain.

This is a full day event that is split into morning and afternoon sessions.

The morning session is based in a classroom and covers:

  • Causes of falling overboard
  • How to prevent falling overboard
  • How to improve chances of survival if you do fall overboard

The afternoon session is based in the training pool and covers:

  • Jumping into the pool with clothes and oilskins on and no personal flotation device
  • Jumping into the pool with clothes and oilskins on and wearing a personal flotation device
  • Practise climbing into a life raft
  • Practise with the lines, tyres and a ladder to pull you out of the water
Unforgettable day yesterday, most useful safety course I’ve ever been on.
Previous participant

Get a first-hand account of what the training day will involve from one Shetland crew, by visiting the Fishing News website using the link below. 

Katie Hooper, our Fisherman's Training Advisor, wanted to find out more about Man Overboard awareness events and decided to complete the training. Katie shares her experience and what to expect in our video below. 

Information on what to expect at a Man Overboard awareness event.

Upcoming training events

The current venues and dates for training courses are listed below. Spaces are limited so early sign up is recommended.   

 Venue   Dates 
RNLI College, Poole  2nd August 2022 
  3rd August 2022 

We are planning more events in Autumn and Winter 2022 which will be announced soon. You can register interest for future events by following the link below.   

Funding and costs 

Trinity House and The Maritime & Coastguard Agency have provided the funding for the events. We will reimburse your travel and subsistence costs and pay you £200 to cover loss of earnings. We can also reimburse accommodation costs if required.  

Receipts will be needed for this. Details on how to do this will be shared when your booking is confirmed.   

How to book

To book a place at an event, email our Fishermen’s Training team by following the link below.

Further information 

These events have been provided as part of our work with the Fishing Industry Safety Group. Information on staying safe at sea, including videos on completing Risk Assessments and Man Overboard Drills are available by visiting the Fishing Industry Safety Group website on the following link below.