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Keeping abreast of all the developments in maritime matters is becoming quite a demanding task. However, the positive side is that this indicates there is a lot of activity and that communication is on the increase. It certainly is, from specialist media organisations and operators, from State, semi-State, commercial and private companies. All of this is vital for public knowledge and awareness of what is happening in the marine sector.

As Executive Editor News at the MARINE TIMES newspaper, I’m writing about many of these topics in the February edition, available in the shops and online. These include ananalysis of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority – who controls it?

There are many people with a commitment to the marine sphere and it is important to report, as far as possible, what they are doing. The national media does not give sufficient regular coverage to the sector.

In the past month, for my Maritime Podcast, I met a professional seafarer who had carried out a very interesting survey about the use of distress signals in an emergency at sea,

Martin O Treasaigh

Safety at sea is vital… Flares have been used as visual distress signals for many decades .. While they burn bright, they don’t’ last long…. In these modern times, what about the use of Electronic Visual Distress signals? Would they be better recognised? Experienced Irish professional seafarer, working at present in the UK offshore sector, Martin O Treasaigh, carried out the survey with interesting results, about which he told me at his home in Skibbereen, West Cork.

He did this with encouragement from Lectuers at the National Maritime College in Rinaskiddy, Cork Habour, In his interview, which you can hear on this month’s Podcast. He discusses the traditional and the electronic methods. Martin O Treasaigh, known widely in the marine sphere as, Tash, has done a very interesting piece of research – for the maritime safety agencies to consider. Initially they were not encouraging to him, but theiy have changed their minds, particularly in the UK where he works in the offshore sector

“My main recommendations from the survey, which he sent to the marine safety organisations in Ireland and the UK, he told me, were:”My main recommendations from the survey were:

  • Issue a Marine Notice informing seafarers about EVDS and how to recognise them.
  • Include information on EVDS in the Code of Safe Working Practices for Recreational Craft
  • Erect notices at key locations informing the public how to recognise these and other visual distress signals.
  • The MSO has rejected my recommendations.
  • The MCA has said they would take my findings into consideration when assessing their approach to EVDS.

Listen to the Podcast to hear more about his findings, which I will also report on my weekly Wednesday column in THE ECHO, Cork’s morning daily and on Afloat, the national maritime website.

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