Who we are
The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen was set up as a charity in 1881 by Ebenezer J. Mather after he saw the appalling conditions of fishermen working in the North Sea. Shocked by what he saw, he founded the Mission and in 1896 Queen Victoria gave it her seal of approval by granting the Royal title.
The Fishermen’s Mission, as it is known, was first registered as a Manx Charity in 1997.
Our aims and objectives
The Mission ministers to the needs of Manx fishermen and their families. Our main aim is to provide pastoral and practical care in times of illness, tragedy or need to those who fish in Manx waters. The Fishermen’s Mission understands about the hardship fishermen and their families can face and offer all the help it can to the fishing community and their families.
The Fishermen’s Mission helps raise awareness about how dangerous fishing is as an occupation. Not many people realize that deep sea fishing is more risky than coal mining and is considered the most dangerous peacetime job on land.
The work we do
Working as a fisherman is both dangerous and unpredictable and tragedy to a fishing boat and its crew can happen at any time in foul or fair weather conditions. At sea, fishermen can become ill or injured and often have to be landed miles away from home for hospital treatment. The Fishermen’s Mission will arrange visits to injured fishermen and liaise with their families. If necessary we will arrange accommodation and transport and, in many cases, clothing and other essential items.
As a result of a fishing tragedy, fishermen are often left without a job and a source of income. Financial hardship can make life very hard and lead to distress and despair. The Fishermen’s Mission will assist these fishermen and their families in whatever way it can.
In the case of a death, the Fishermen’s Mission can help the family arrange the funeral and in some cases, hold a memorial service. If a tragedy leaves orphans behind, the Mission will keep in touch and help where possible until the child becomes an adult.
Since 1997 the Fishermen’s Mission has been involved with the following incidents:
- October 1998 – the sinking of the Amber Rose off the Calf of Man with the loss of the Skipper and five crew rescued
- January 2000 – the loss of the Solway Harvester with the loss of all seven crew
- November 2002 – the Fenella Ann sank off the Calf of Man and two crew rescued
- February 2004 – a fisherman was lost off the north of the Island
- November 2004 – the sinking of the Emerald Dawn off Kilkeel with a crewman rescued and landed on the Island.
In most cases the Mission were involved in looking after the survivors, contacting families, providing clothing, accommodation and arranging transport. We also assisted relatives travelling to the Island and arranged memorial services.
How you can help us
To carry on this important work we need your support. If you would like to make a donation please use the PayPal donate button.
If you have some time to spare and would like to assist us in our work please contact the Hon. Secretary, Mr Tom Bryan-Brown on 01624 842144 / 07624 453938 or email email@example.com.