Article Date: 2013-06-21
Whitby’s Quayside fish and chip shop made a splash today at a charity event that saw a local fisherman jump into the harbour to raise awareness – and funds – for fishermen’s safety.
The family-run fish and chip shop look the plunge with RNLI Lifeboat coxswain Mike Russell on Friday to raise money for The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen and Whitby Seaman’s Mission with a charity dip that saw fisherman Luke Russell donning a specialised flotation device and jumping overboard at high tide.
Anne Hornigold, CEO of The Whitby & District Fishing Industry Training School, has also teamed up with Quayside for the event, and brought the school’s apprentices down to the harbour in full safety gear.
“Fishermen are 115 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident than the rest of the UK workforce,” explains Quayside head chef and director Stuart Fusco. “We hope this charity fundraiser will not only raise money for a worthy cause but also boost awareness that many fishermen’s deaths could be prevented with proper life jackets.”
RNLI coxswain Mike Russell, who is also trustee of the Whitby Seaman’s Mission, adds: “Every time I attend a ‘man overboard’ call in Whitby, it’s a very personal experience because I know it could be a friend in the water. Until now, there hasn’t been a life jacket that’s fit for purpose but the new compact ‘Mullion Personal Flotation Device’, is the best solution the industry has ever had and can really mean the difference between life and death.”
Stuart and Mike are delighted that the Whitby & District Fishing Industry Training School got involved in the event, the first in a summer-long fundraising campaign for Quayside, which has raised thousands for its chosen charity over the last few years.
“It’s not just about providing a life jacket, it’s also about educating the next generation of fishermen about the importance of these new jackets and how to maintain them. The Training School – the only training centre in the UK to deliver an apprenticeship in Maritime Sea Fishing – is crucial in providing this support,” says Mike.
Gary Verity chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “The fishing industry is a key part of Whitby^s heritage and life blood and we support any campaign that will keep our fishermen safe at sea."