I wish more people could experience for themselves the benefits of taking up fishing and getting their hands fishy on a regular basis – whether it’s the sea, a river or a lake. It can keep you physically fit (try paddling your kayak against the tide for 45 minutes!), mentally sound (most of the time)and introduce you to a World of pleasure that will last you a lifetime.
We’re on a mission at the Angling Trust to get more people fishing more often in England. Along with this, we’ve recognised a responsibility to keep those anglers going fishing as safe as possible – more anglers means more potential accidents.
That’s why we are really chuffed to have been invited to be a partner with the RNLI in a project to help improve safety advice and keep sea anglers safer while fishing. Every year anglers from both boats and the shore get caught out – sometimes fatally.
The first part of our joint project is a survey aimed at helping the RNLI to profile sea anglers and their experiences of and attitudes towards coastal safety. So far we’ve had a fantastic response and you too can play your part by completing the survey at www.rnli.substance.coop
We are also holding a series of workshops around the country to get more details from sea anglers which will help us understand how to get the safety message across and ultimately reduce the number of accidents, near accidents and fatalities related to people fishing recreationally at sea. The first of these is in Littlehampton in West Sussex on Tuesday February 26th.
The survey is also being supported by the Welsh and Scottish Federations of Sea anglers so we would encourage all sea anglers – wherever you might come from in the UK to complete the survey.
I can think of a handful of occasions when my safety as an anglers hasn’t been what is could have been. I don’t think I’m alone here. Nowadays I will always wear a personal floatation device (PFD) if I’m shore fishing from rocks and one of the wisest investments I’ve made recently was a waterproof mobile phone cover from Aquapac which I now use every time I go fishing in the event I need to make an emergency call.