VIDEO: Shocking rogue wave takes down fisherman

A fishing vessel owner has released a shocking video to show the lifesaving ability of PFDs and safety equipment.

Owner John Clark believes that, without a safety harness and PFD (Personal Flotation Device) his crewman would have been washed away, never to be seen – alive – again.

The CCTV footage is from Reliance III.

“The video shows why safety measures are lifesavers, fishing is a dangerous profession however careful you are – you are miles away at sea, often on your own, if something goes wrong, it’s going to be bad,” says Clark.

“There’s sometimes a bit of reluctance and crews can say things like ‘it’s because of you saying this that I have more costs and regulations to follow’, but that is the point: Look at how many fishermen don’t come home, the safety equipment and regulations are what bring those fishermen home.

“We’ve had a number of losses in this area in the last year, it’s a big problem around here.

“Fishing is the most dangerous job in the world, but it doesn’t have to be, people can be stubborn about spending the money on the safety gear, but considering what it does, that view doesn’t make sense to me. You can’t put a price on a person’s life.

“The sad reality is that the message is not always getting through, and it really needs to, that’s why I published this video – I hope to help get the message through.

“The last thing I ever want to have to do is knock on a family’s door and have to be the person that gives them the worst news of their life, their loved one isn’t coming home.”

He says his crew were pulling up their nets, approximately 50 nautical miles off Scrabster, north Scotland, on Wednesday night in stormy conditions when the colossal wave completely engulfed the 20m twin-rig trawler.

When the water subsides enough to see what is left behind, it becomes clear the force of it had swept crewman John off his feet and into the heavy swell.

Clark likes his crew to wear safety harnesses, ensuring they cannot be washed away

But rather than watching a tragedy unfold, the crewman is not at the mercy of the wave; he is able to stay close to the central pole before eventually standing up. Other than looking understandably confused and drenched through, he is fine.

“That’s why safety is so important,” says Clark.

“I tell the guys to ‘wear your harness and PFD, it will save your life one day’, this is exactly why I tell them that. If he hadn’t been wearing them, we would not be having this nice conversation today.

“The safety measures I have on board my vessel are there to save lives but the key thing is that he used them.”

One response to “VIDEO: Shocking rogue wave takes down fisherman”

  1. John Burnie says:

    Good to see the lifejacket worked!