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An analysis of lifejacket wear, environmental factors, and casualty activity on marine accident fatality rates

An analysis of lifejacket wear, environmental factors, and casualty activity on marine accident fatality rates
An analysis of lifejacket wear, environmental factors, and casualty activity on marine accident fatality rates

Drowning and fatalities at sea are a large concern globally. In the UK, many sea rescues are performed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and this study investigates 6 years’ worth of their rescue data to better understand causation of drowning and what makes an incident at sea high risk. A Poisson model is applied to numerous factors recorded as part of each rescue, including environmental conditions (visibility, sea state, etc.), lifejacket wear, and response times for rescue. Increased lifejacket wear is shown to be significantly correlated with lower fatality rates across all spectrum of activities. Survivability among those casualties wearing life jackets was 94%. A seasonal signal is clearly present, with a higher proportion of life at risk incidents occurring during winter months, and a higher than predicted number of fatalities during this time. The analysis identifies high risk groups of beach/sea users, with one of the most at risk being people fishing from shore. Incident survivability is shown to decrease at different rates per activity, as time to rescue increases. This study provides clear evidence that a co-ordinated approach to sea safety is required, and suggests that increased lifejacket wear among coastal and marine users would have a dramatic effect on reducing the number of drowning related deaths each year.

Commercial fishing, Drowning, Personal flotation device, RNLI, Sea safety
0925-7535
Pitman, Sebastian John
69986bdc-a759-4a65-a6cf-5d8fa1567510
Wright, Michael
1103f917-7376-48a7-9558-14df42cbd585
Hocken, Russell
7756e538-00ca-4729-bc05-a773edd20076
Pitman, Sebastian John
69986bdc-a759-4a65-a6cf-5d8fa1567510
Wright, Michael
1103f917-7376-48a7-9558-14df42cbd585
Hocken, Russell
7756e538-00ca-4729-bc05-a773edd20076

Pitman, Sebastian John, Wright, Michael and Hocken, Russell (2018) An analysis of lifejacket wear, environmental factors, and casualty activity on marine accident fatality rates. Safety Science. (doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2018.07.016).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Drowning and fatalities at sea are a large concern globally. In the UK, many sea rescues are performed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and this study investigates 6 years’ worth of their rescue data to better understand causation of drowning and what makes an incident at sea high risk. A Poisson model is applied to numerous factors recorded as part of each rescue, including environmental conditions (visibility, sea state, etc.), lifejacket wear, and response times for rescue. Increased lifejacket wear is shown to be significantly correlated with lower fatality rates across all spectrum of activities. Survivability among those casualties wearing life jackets was 94%. A seasonal signal is clearly present, with a higher proportion of life at risk incidents occurring during winter months, and a higher than predicted number of fatalities during this time. The analysis identifies high risk groups of beach/sea users, with one of the most at risk being people fishing from shore. Incident survivability is shown to decrease at different rates per activity, as time to rescue increases. This study provides clear evidence that a co-ordinated approach to sea safety is required, and suggests that increased lifejacket wear among coastal and marine users would have a dramatic effect on reducing the number of drowning related deaths each year.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 13 July 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 July 2018
Keywords: Commercial fishing, Drowning, Personal flotation device, RNLI, Sea safety

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422692
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422692
ISSN: 0925-7535
PURE UUID: 2f6b8f03-38dc-42ee-923b-e810006391a6

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 06:08

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Contributors

Author: Sebastian John Pitman
Author: Michael Wright
Author: Russell Hocken

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