Public screening of epic swim with powerful safety message

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

Imagine being lost at sea, with two mates. Imagine waiting for help. Imagine if no help came.

Now imagine swimming 15 nautical miles (nearly 30 km) through the ocean, to find help, in the hope of saving yourself and your mates.

Twelve years ago, Michael Williams did just that. His heroic achievement has been captured in the award winning short documentary “Sea Rogue“.

The documentary will be screened on 27 February 2020. It captures the story of the loss of the commercial trawler FV Sea Rogue off Ballina in 2008 and of deckhand Michael Williams’ epic swim to save the crews’ lives. Sadly, the skipper Charlie Picton was lost at sea as a result of the incident.

The screening is an opportunity to raise awareness of safety at sea.

For more than a decade, the safety performance of the Australian fishing and aquaculture industry has not improved with an average of 5 fatalities each year. Working in this industry is the most dangerous occupation in Australia, and fatalities are approximately twenty-five times higher than the mining and construction industries.

The Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC) has recently developed the National Research Development & Extension Seafood Industry Safety Initiative, a collaborative partnership with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Seafood Industry Australia that seeks to improve the workplace health, safety and wellbeing of all individuals working in the Australian seafood and aquaculture industry.

A flagship activity of the Seafood Industry Safety Initiative is project SeSAFE –co-funded with the fishing industry, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and FRDC. Project SeSAFE has two objectives: to provide on-line workplace safety learning systems for crew and companies and to promote conversation about the value of workplace safety within the seafood industry, and the promotion of a positive safety culture.

The FRDC is hosting the screening of “Sea Rogue”. The event will be attended by survivor Michael Williams, skipper Charlie Picton’s family and filmmaker Matt Blyth, Millstream Productions. Jim Simmons, Clarence Valley Mayor, Stuart Richey, Chair of AMSA will also be at the event.

The film screening will be held on the 12th anniversary of the loss of the FV Sea Rogue, and will be held at the Yamba Cinema (13 Coldstream St, Yamba) on 27th February at 4.30pm.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length.