Letters: Rock angler safety recommendations misguided

Letters: THE NSW coroner has come out with recommendations that all rock anglers should be required to wear safety vests when participating in their sport

The recommendation was made after inquests into a number of deaths during the past few years, including one in the local area.

A worthwhile proposal, but one which I consider impracticable as well as impossible to police.

I admit that I, like a number of other anglers, have been washed off my feet by larger than expected waves, and have shed blood as a result.

But some reports of fatalities have suggested that the angler was rendered unconscious when knocked into the water.

Most lifejackets in my opinion are unsuitable for this type of sport, being too bulky and uncomfortable to wear, although may have the effect of keeping the body of the angler near the surface if injured or unconscious.

To my mind, the most suitable, and comfortable, would the inflatable device available to scuba divers who can pull a cord to inflate a life jacket in order to surface

But for policing purposes, how does one define rock fishing sites? Does Flat Rock at the southern end of Pippi Beach at Yamba come into that classification, although it is only a little above beach level.

And what about the breakwalls at the entrance to most rivers - man made rocks - or the T-Piece just inside the entrance to the Clarence.

The song taught to children about "look to the right and look to the left before closing the road" applies as much, or even more so, to rock anglers.

Before venturing onto the fishing spot, watch for a short time to establish how the waves are working, ensure you wear correct footwear, light clothing, fish with a friend. and stay alert.

And even so, there is always an element of risk as there is in any sport.

Dick Richards

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