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Marine / Local fishing boats receive on-board defibrillators

From left to right: Paul Moodie, James Cardno, Callum Nicol, Blake Petrie, Steven Hughson and skipper Leslie Hughson from Ocean Challenge LK 253. Photo: SFA

CREWS of Shetland’s whitefish boats will benefit from new defibrillators being donated to help save lives at sea.

A dozen new devices, designed to give controlled electrical shocks to the heart of someone in cardiac arrest, have been secured for the local fleet through grants from the Scottish Government’s Marine Fund Scotland.

It is part of a wider £80,000 government investment under which a total of 100 new defibrillators have been gifted to fishing vessels throughout Scotland.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Sheila Keith said: “In the case of sudden cardiac arrest, we know that the sooner a defibrillator can be deployed the better the chances of survival.

“Even more so for fishermen working at sea, where professional medical help is less immediately accessible.”

The 12 Shetland fishing crews set to take defibrillators to sea have also had instruction in how to use and maintain the devices, as well as basic CPR refresher training.

Shetland Fishermen office manager Una Simpson has been delivering the defibrillators and training onboard.

“These units are easy to use and service, and are designed to speak you through the process of CPR and offer re-assurance,” she said.

“We sincerely hope that they never have to be used, but it’s about having the confidence to open them up if needed – and knowing that the defibrillator will automatically give you simple and clear instructions to follow.”

The association said it would like to thank colleagues at the Scottish Whitefish Producers’ Organisation and the lifesaving charity Lucky2Bhere for assistance in securing the defibrillator devices and necessary training.