Fishermen have one of the most dangerous jobs in Australia

LURE OF DANGER: Fisherman David Swindells has what is rated Australia’s most dangerous job, but he thinks truckies have it much tougher.
LURE OF DANGER: Fisherman David Swindells has what is rated Australia’s most dangerous job, but he thinks truckies have it much tougher. Chris Ison Rokcfishing

DAVE Swindells is one of many putting their lives at risk to put food on the table.

The Rockhampton fisherman's job is listed as one of the most dangerous in Australia.

A statement by has commercial fisherman sitting at the top of the list, with miners and truck drivers rounding out the top three.

While Dave works mainly in the rivers and along the coast, he said it can be hard work when the water's rough. "I don't find it too dangerous, but the operator of the vessel needs to be a capable person, otherwise it would be dangerous," he said.

Dave, 60, spends close to seven hours on his boat daily, catching mackerel, blue salmon, and barramundi.

Fishing can be an unstable livelihood, but Dave said despite that and some dangers, he mostly enjoyed what he did.

And there's ways to ensure he stays safe.

"We all have safety procedures put in place and before hopping on a commercial vessel," Dave said.

But the fisherman doesn't consider his job to be as dangerous as some others.

"There hasn't been one death attributed to commercial fishing this year.

"Look at truck drivers - they're on the road all day and more people are killed on the road than at sea," Dave said. And Dave's not far off the mark, with truck drivers taking out the third spot on the list.



  • Commercial fishermen and women
  • Miners
  • Truck drivers
  • Construction workers
  • Tree loppers
  • Farmers
  • Defence forces
  • Firefighters
  • Pilots
  • Garbage collectors




  • Alaskan crab fisherman (Alaska) - battling the rough seas to catch crab.
  • Ship breaking (Pakistan and Bangladesh) - tearing apart ocean liners, ships and tankers.
  • Agate polisher and grinder (India) - Agate stones are used in silver jewellery, but contain silica, which if inhaled for a long period of time, can be deadly.
  • Bus driver (Guatemala) - drivers risk being shot to death by gangs while at work. The companies drivers work for have to meet gangs' demands for money.

Source: lifeinsurance

Topics:  employment jobs jobseeker advice

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Debbie the second most costly cyclone in Australia's history

The Insurance Council of Australia says the cost of Debbie's damage is second only to Cyclone Tracy which devastated Darwin in December, 1974.

$1.71 billion to fix damage from Townsville to Lismore

How to stop Facebook from grabbing your data

How Facebook can grab your data, and what to do to stop it

Billie is back home for a Peepshow with Circa

SHOW: Circa will offer the world premiere of  Peepshow  in Lismore.

Mullumbimby performer is back with show's world premiere

Local Partners