Rock Fishing Safety Program Comes to the Central Coast

Surf Life Saving NSW’s groundbreaking rock fishing safety program is moving to Avoca Beach this month – the first for the region in a program that will see rock anglers across the state learn about safety measures life safety and skill building and receive a free life jacket.

Following the successful launch of the ‘Gone Fishing’ program in Port Kembla in September – a deadly black spot for rock anglers where six people have lost their lives in the past two years – Avoca Beach SLSC will be the site of the second workshop on Sunday November 20.

Then the program will move north to Coffs Harbor on Saturday December 3, before visiting metropolitan Sydney and La Pérouse early next year.

In New South Wales, from July 2021 to June 2022, 11 people lost their lives fishing in the rocks.

With the support of the NSW Government through the Department of Primary Industries, Surf Life Saving NSW will run at least 10 coastal workshops and 10 community workshops aimed specifically at multicultural and at-risk groups, including distributing 1,000 free life jackets and donating expert advice on fitting lifejackets.

Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders announced in July that the NSW Recreational Fishing Fund would invest $205,000 in delivering the workshops.

“Our goal for the day is to provide rock fishing safety education to at-risk communities,” said Julia Kiss, SLSNSW Community Education Manager.

“Workshop sessions are held in the morning and include reviewing and wearing appropriate life jackets, safe and hazardous clothing and footwear, what to wear in different conditions, what to pack and don’t pack when rock fishing and expert fishing tips.

“After lunch, participants hold location-specific sessions to highlight the hazards, risks, conditions and dangerous fishing spots in the Avoca area. They will learn about tides, swells, signage and different types of emergencies, how to handle them and how emergency services can respond.

“During these sessions, experts including experienced lifeguards, rescuers and local rock anglers will provide vital information on what you can do to keep yourself safe while rock fishing.”

SLSNSW CEO Steve Pearce said the day was aimed at equipping rock anglers with the tools they need to visit the coastline safely and then return home to their families.

“A lot of people think of Surf Life Saving as being about volunteers on the beach and swimming between red and yellow flags, but our educational reach extends much further,” he said.

“We are delighted to continue to offer these workshops, which we hope will have a positive impact on communities at risk and our drowning rate on the coast. »

“The day really highlights the significance and importance of improving drowning prevention strategies and rock fishing education within the target communities,” added Julia.

Interested rock anglers are encouraged to register for the workshop by visiting https://tinyurl.com/GoneFishing-Avoca or by emailing [email protected]

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Ryan H. Bowman