Survival story: Mullion life jacket with PLB saves fisherman

10 November, 2021

On 3 September 2021, commercial fisherman Paul Reed tripped and fell overboard. Reed is convinced that wearing his life jacket with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is the only reason he’s still alive. He hopes his story can convince other fisherman to always carry the right equipment.

Man overboard – no time to waste

Paul, one of the fishermen on the Sidney Rose, was heading from Plymouth to Salcombe when he tripped and fell overboard. With a water temperature of about 16°C time was running out very quickly. Luckily Reed is alive and well after being rescued by the Coastguard. They managed to find him after only 67 minutes thanks to his Mullion life jacket equipped with a PLB.

Reed’s decision to grab a life jacket before going out on deck, definitely saved his life. It was not just a personal decision, it’s also part of the Oceanic Drifter company policy. “I’ve been a fisherman for 38 years, and this is the first time I’ve gone overboard,” Reed said in an interview with Marine Industry News. “The lifejacket and PLB saved my life, it’s that simple.”

Personal locator beacons save lives

The moment Reed’s life jacket inflated, he knew the PLB was activated, sending a distress signal to the Coastguard with the exact co-ordinates. Reed added that he “knew it was working as soon as it started flashing. ”.
The Mullion life jacket Reed was wearing is the Compact 150 Supreme, which is a heavy duty life jacket especially designed for fishing applications. The combination with a PLB has proven to be a life-saving choice.

Message to other fishermen

“My message to other fishermen is simple: Wear a lifejacket. I did and it saved my life.”
“They’re only small, they don’t get in the way when you’ve got them on, you get used to them, and if I didn’t have mine on, I wouldn’t be talking to you now.” (Marine Industry News )