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Rock fishing is arguably the most dangerous sport in the world and lives are lost undertaking this activity every year.
Many of these deaths could be avoided if the following advice was put into practice:

*    No fish is worth your life.
Many accidents occur when people move to lower levels to land fish.

*    King waves are a myth. Wave dynamics have been studied around the world and although large waves can form, these are due to the combination of sea, swell and the formation from which the person is fishing. Large waves don't strike at random - fishers and others put   themselves in a position where they are likely to be washed from the rocks.

*    While many dangerous spots are signposted, many are not.
If a safety harness is provided, use it.

*    Before fishing, watch the prevailing conditions for at least 10 minutes. Take note of which rocks are wet and whether the rock pools are encrusted with salt.

*    Select areas where the surface is not slippery or steep. These sites can be dangerous because they are difficult to climb should you accidentally fall or getwashed into the water.     

*    When fishing from the rocks, look for an area that you can swim for should you be washed from the rocks. If there is a rip working, don't try to swim directly back against the rip or you will waste energy and may not be able to regain the land.
Swim diagonally across the rip until you are clear of it.

*    Have spare tackle and gear at hand so that snags can be cut off and lines repaired.
Do not try and retrieve tackle, especially in rocky, steep areas.

*    Wear shoes suited to the area you are fishing. Fishing from round,  boulders can be dangerous, as they become as slippery as ice when wet.
Smooth or cleated shoes are dangerous in such conditions.

*    Wear shorts and other clothes that allow you to swim should you get washed into the water.

      Heavy, wet weather gear, long trousers and woollen jumpers can hamper your swimming ability.

*    Keep a flotation device in your tackle box and wear one in areas where the swells can be large.

*    Always fish with a friend.

*    If your partner is washed into the water, never jump in to save him or her.
A bucket with a rope,your fishing rod or the line can be used as rescue devices, but don't recklessly risk your own life.

*    If a large wave is coming and you are fairly certain you will be washed off your fishing platform, jump into the water.
While this may seem like odd advice, statistics show that many fatalities are due by head injuries caused by the fisher being bounced on rocks by waves as they roll in and wash back.

*    Always tell someone where you are going and when you will come back.
If you change your plans, tell someone.

*    If you are fishing with a handline, make sure you are not tangled with it should a large bite.


Fishing is an extremely popular and enjoyable activity, but it should also be a safe activity.
If you follow the advice on this page,
you can enjoy your fishing and pass on your skills to your children and grandchildren.