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Mother of fisherman lost at sea backs lifejacket campaign
THE mum of Purbeck Isle fisherman Robert Prowse has teamed up with the RNLI in her campaign to get fishermen to wear lifejackets.
Robert Prowse, 20, was one of three fishermen who were lost at sea after Weymouth fishing boat Purbeck Isle went out to sea in May last year and never returned.
Mum Maxine has teamed up with the RNLI to campaign to get fishermen to wear lifejackets.
The RNLI produced thousands of beer mats to be placed around the bars and hotels used for a fishermen’s expo at the end of October.
The expo, in Bristol, showcased different fishing and safety gear.
The idea was that fishermen saw the beer mat when they were staying in the area and thought about the message.
Maxine described the message as ‘very hard-hitting’.
It reads: ‘Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) save lives.
‘Maxine Prowse’s son was a fisherman. He didn’t wear his PFD. Robert was 20 when he drowned in May 2012. His body was never found.’
The picture was originally taken by the Echo for an article in support of Maxine’s campaign to make fishermen wear lifejackets and given to the RNLI.
Maxine said that if one life was saved as a result of the campaign, which it already had been, then Robert’s loss would not be in vain.
She said the beer mats were ‘brilliant’.
Maxine said: “Anything to save these fishermen from not coming home, not being found.”
She added a message to all fishermen, she said: “Think of your family.
“Think of your friends – that empty chair at the corner of the bar.
“Families – kids growing up without their dads – it’s that simple really.”
RNLI fishing safety manager Frankie Horne said that all the expos would now have the beer mats.
He said: “The message will be read and hopefully taken up.”
He said they had been working with fishermen to create lighter, smaller and more comfortable lifejackets for fishermen while they are working.
He said there were three initiatives to roll them out at the moment and added that one life had already been saved thanks to the new technology and campaign.
He said: “Any fisherman in Dorset who is a member of the Fishermen’s Federation will receive a free lifejacket.
“They are rolling out their jackets now. They have to be a member to claim.”
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