Police have re-issued a plea for rock anglers to make safety their priority, particularly in current dangerous marine conditions.
Marine Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings, urged all rock anglers who are planning to head out in coming days to check the Bureau of Meteorology’s website first.
“Last week, we were joined by the Bureau of Meteorology and Surf Life Saving NSW to outline joint safety guidelines to better educate rock anglers to reduce the risk of injury or death,” Det Supt Hutchings said.
“We’ve been working together to develop strategies to target high-risk water activities, especially rock fishing, which was the number one cause of coastal deaths last year.
“With the Bureau issuing a Marine Wind Warning for much of the NSW coastline today, we are urging rock anglers to follow these safety tips every time they venture out:
* Always wear a life jacket
* Make enquiries and check weather and marine conditions before you leave home
* Observe first/fish later: watch your intended fishing spot to get an idea of the conditions over a full swell/wave cycle
* Carry safety gear; head protection, as well as a float and line to help anyone else who might be washed into the water
* Never fish by yourself and always stand within sight of each other
* Make sure you let family and friends know where you are going and when you’ll be back
* Carry a mobile phone
* Never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas and be aware that conditions may change dramatically in a short period of time
* Stay alert. Never turn your back on the sea
* If waves, the weather or swell threaten your fishing spot, leave immediately
* If in doubt, don’t go out
* In the event of an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
“Most importantly, use your common sense. Don’t risk your life or the life of others for a fish,” Det Supt Hutchings.
The Bureau’s ‘Check the weather before going rock fishing’ educational webpage has been viewed by more than 30,000 people since 2012 and has been translated into Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean to reflect the diversity of the Australian rock fishing community.
To check the weather and conditions before rock fishing, visit:
Multilingual rock fishing safety brochures can be downloaded from the website: www.safewaters.nsw.gov.au/
In addition, ‘angel rings’ or life buoys have been installed at black spots along the state’s coast by the Australian National Sportfishing Association, with the support of the Department of Sport and Recreation and NSW Sporting Injuries Insurance.
The flotation devices are located on rock platforms and easily accessible in case of an emergency.