Investigations are underway to establish the cause of the sinking of the Fraserburgh-based trawler Ocean Way some 100 miles east of the Farne Islands in the North Sea on Sunday, 2 November, but already a sadly familiar issue has already surfaced: lifejackets were not worn.
Search and rescue efforts to locate two missing crewmembers have been suspended. Two survivors and the body of the deceased skipper were pulled from the water. Neither survivor, nor the body of the skipper wore lifejackets.
A vessel can come to grief with extraordinary swiftness. There may be little time to launch a liferaft or to find and don lifejackets. Without a flotation device the extra effort needed to keep afloat encourages the onset of hypothermia and prevents seafarers helping each other.