The Association Francophone d’Entraide et de Promotion des Sciences de la Vie (AFEPS) has opened training courses on diving skills and first aid for fishermen in Ly Son island district to help them minimise the risks of marine accidents and feel more secure to stay regularly at sea.

The district of central Quang Ngai province counts 426 ships operating on the sea. Their traditional fishing grounds are Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

However, the islanders have yet been fully equipped with specialised tools as well as necessary skills to deal with accidents at sea. Therefore, 66 have lost their lives in accidents at sea since 2005.

Captain of the fishing boat QNg 9618 TS, Lam Thanh Noi, from An Vinh commune, said he has followed his father to dive for seafood since he left school, but found it difficult to deal with emergency responses and injuries due to a lack of professional skills. The training courses, therefore, have helped him feel more confident to continue heading out to sea.

The AFEPS also provided the fishermen with safe working clothing and other tools to serve their job.
Jean-Eric Blatteau, an AFEPS representative, said his association has studied what happened to Ly Son divers since 1998 and trained a number of doctors to support the fishermen. Teams of divers were also set up to help their fellows minimise professional accidents.

Fifteen nautical miles from land, the island district of Quang Ngai covers an area of 10.32 square kilometres where 5,575 household are based, earning their living by seafood catching and garlic planting.-VNA