Surfer snared by long-line
A SURFER has been snared by a long-line illegally set by a fisherman on Diggers Beach.
The man was struck in the face by the line on Sunday afternoon after it recoiled as concerned beachgoers tried to pull the fishing gear onto the beach.
Struck in the face by the lengthy fishing line, the man was taken to hospital and received treatment or a cut to his nose.
Coffs Harbour Water Police were advised of the incident and are now investigating.
Officers hope to locate a man, seen setting the line on the popular surfing beach on Saturday afternoon.
"There have been reports that a man was seen on the beach and we hope to speak anyone who saw the line being set," Water Police Senior Constable John Wicken said.
"It is illegal to set a line off a beach and the information we have is that this appears to have been set from the shore near the southern headland on Diggers Beach and was run out to sea in a north-east direction.
"The surfer was injured as people tried to retrieve the line, it appears he was hit in the head when the line recoiled.
"He suffered a laceration to his face and a large cut to his nose as well as welts across his chest and shoulders.
Fitted with large baited hooks, wire, cord and weights the long-line appears to have been either anchored or caught on the sea floor.
Police said only half of the broken line was recovered by beachgoers on Sunday and Fisheries and Marine Parks will endeavour to retrieve the rest of the fishing gear today.
"The length of line handed over to us is approximately 100 metres long and is thick, nylon, heavy monofilament line, which would be quite costly.
"It is the type of line used by commercial long-liners, but the set-up is different to what professional fishermen use leading us to believe it was illegally set by a recreational angler.
Police say checks are now taking place with local tackle shops.
Anyone with further information should call Coffs Harbour Water Police on 6651 49 81.