Floatation Device Saves Rock Fisher

A notorious stretch of coastline on the State’s Central Coast nearly claimed the life of another fisherman on Saturday, with only a decision to wear a flotation device preventing yet another tragedy

The man was fishing with a friend off Wybung Headland in the Munmorah Conservation Area on Saturday afternoon when a wave swept him off the rock at about 3:45pm.

His friend immediately threw him an angel ring that was located nearby and raised the alarm.

The State Operations Centre was alerted and subsequently tasked lifeguards from the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) stationed at Fraser Park to attend the incident.

A jet ski was quickly launched and was able to reach the stranded fisherman and pluck him from the water.

Paramedics also attended and assessed the man and he was given a clean-bill of health after his 20-minute ordeal in the water.

ALS Southern Coordinator Phil Dunn believed it was the combination of the floatation device and quick thinking of the man’s friend that prevented another rock fishing fatality.

“The National Parks and Wildlife Service need to be praised for their foresight in installing rings in that area as it’s a dangerous piece of coastline,” Mr Dunn said.

“It’s the second incident in a month where a ring has been used to save a life, and from a lifeguard perspective it was pleasing to see how smooth the operation went. A lot of things went in the fisher’s favour yesterday including the fact that the lifeguards were on patrol, he was wearing a floatation device, and his friend was able to call for help so quickly.”

Mr Dunn is disappointed that the message about the importance of lifejackets still isn’t getting through.

“It’s incredibly frustrating that the message isn’t always getting through to people or if it is it’s happening far too slowly. What this incident highlights is pretty simple; lifejackets save lives.”

General Rock Fishing Safety Tips:

• Check the weather, surf conditions and tides before going fishing
• Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
• Always wear a lifejacket
• Wear appropriate non-slip footwear and light clothing
• Always fish with a friend
• Check the warnings signs for information about the area
• Never turn your back to the water
• Do not try and retrieve anything that has fallen into the water
• Do not jump in if someone falls into the water - wait for assistance or throw an ‘Angel Ring’ or Lifebuoy if there is one nearby • Additionally boaters are urged to always check conditions prior and to log on with their local Marine Rescue Base via radio or using the MarineRescue App. Visit www.mrnsw.com.au for more information
• Call Triple Zero – Police to report an in-water emergency

Sun 16 Apr 2017