Trawlermen’s Lives [audio] find out why men do the most dangerous job in the world

Every year 1 in 213 fishermen dies or is seriously injured in British waters. Find out why they fish, what they fish, and what happens when things go wrong.

A radio documentary about Trawlermen’s Lives.¬†Trawling is the most dangerous industrial occupation in the UK. Only being a soldier at war is more dangerous. So why would a man (and it is predominantly men) do it?

The sea is a dangerous place. The way fishing vessels operate is the exact opposite to the way most ships work. Most ships; load their cargoes in port, secure their hatches, people go down below deck and they go out to sea. Fishing vessels do the opposite. They come out of port and go to the middle of the ocean and the fishermen open the hatches and come out on deck. It’s like working in a heavy industrial factory with chains and cranes but you’ve got a moving floor so the chance of being struck by moving gear is much higher –¬†Nigel Blazeby – Vessel Safety Inspector

Trawlermen’s Lives explores the highs, lows, what goes wrong and how the family on-shore cope with waiting.


I wouldn’t want Roy to do something different because it wouldn’t be Roy. They have a wicked sense of humour. I wouldn’t want to be on a bigger boat, which Roy’s done, ten on a boat. Put it this way you sleep with one eye open! Shaving the eyebrows is nothing! Permanent marker all over the face, permanent marker all over... fishwives can’t be easily offended! A friend of mine told me a decky learner walked into the galley and all the crew were there butt bold naked! Just to wind him up! – Fishwife

Trawling is 115 times more dangerous than the average industrial occupation.

They’d taken a twelve year old boy out with them, he was growing up through the ranks. The boat turned over whilst he was asleep. They managed to get out and were sitting on the upturned hull. They could hear him banging from inside and they shouted for him to hold his breath and get out through the galley door. To think upside down. You’d only have a couple of minutes but it would have been enough. But he just couldn’t do it – Ex Fisherman

Click play to find out about trawlermen’s lives.

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