Life jackets save rock fisher lives

Last Updated : 01 Mar 2018
Life jackets save rock fisher lives

At this time of the year, thousands of Aucklanders flock to the coast to fish for fun or to provide for their families. With more than 100 beaches and 3,100 kilometres of coastline, Auckland is one of the most liveable cities in the world to enjoy recreational fishing.

But sometimes the urge to catch ‘the big one’ can override commonsense.

Water safety experts are urging families of Aucklanders who fish from rocky outcrops to make sure their loved ones are properly equipped to come home safely this summer.

The West Coast Rock Fishing Safety Project, a collaboration between Auckland Council, WaterSafe Auckland and Surf Life Saving Northern Region, has been promoting fisher safety for 10 years, with significant impact.

In 2006, just four per cent of rock fishers wore life jackets; last summer 40 per cent of fishers wore them. Drownings have also reduced from five in 2006 to an average of one per year.

Project partners recommend this pre-fishing safety checklist for families to keep their fishers safe:

1. Check they have a lifejacket, and they wear it.
2. Check they are wearing sensible footwear, but not gumboots or waders that can fill up with water.
3. Check weather and tides.
4. Find out where they’re going and when they expect to be home, so you can alert rescue services if they don’t turn up.

For further rock fishing safety advice and project research visit

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