South Coast Fisherman Urged to Wear Life Jackets

Posted on Sep 10, 2015


South Coast fisherman urged to wear life jackets Sept. 7, 2015, 11:28 a.m. ANGLERS have been warned  a feed of fish isn't worth risking their lives for and urged to wear life jackets, after a South Coast rescue on the weekend. Police have reminded rock fisherman to make safety their top priority after two men were rescued during separate incidents on the NSW coast at the weekend. On Sunday, a 56-year-old Worrigee man was fishing at Little Beacroft Point, north east of Jervis Bay, when a large wave struck him from the side and washed him into the sea. A short time later, a 43-year-old Campsie man was rescued after he was seen floating in water about 500m north of the headland in Winney Bay, Copacabana. Both men were rescued from the water and treated for hypothermia. This comes after a man died on August 30 after being swept off rocks at South Durras. The Moruya-based Westpac Life Saver Helicopter attended both South Coast incidents. At Currarong, a nearby angler witnessed the incident and threw an Angel Ring life preserver into the water, towards the man, before contacting police and emergency services. The helicopter crew winched the man from the sea, 100 metres offshore, to a nearby boat ramp. Marine area commander Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings urged rock anglers to take safety measures, particularly the use of life jackets, when fishing off rocks. “This past weekend we saw two incidents of anglers being washed from rocks in NSW, one of whom was a highly experienced fisherman,” Mr Hutchings said. “Fortunately, both men were rescued from the water, thanks to the use of an Angel Ring and life jacket, which ultimately assisted in keeping them safe until help arrived.” Mr Hutchings said rock fishing could be risky due to the constant change in conditions. “Rock fishing can be a risky sport and, as these incidents demonstrate, conditions can change significantly in a matter of moments,” he said. “It is critical that rock fishermen take every safety measure before venturing out onto rock platforms, including wearing a life jacket. “Should you get washed into the water, wearing a life jacket will dramatically increase your chances of survival. “I urge anyone heading out onto the rocks to heed our safety warnings, we don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but these simple steps could very well save your life.” Rock anglers should 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.

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