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Anglers urged to stay safe when rock fishing

2 min read
Anglers urged to stay safe when rock fishing

While rock fishing is a popular pastime, it can be dangerous if anglers are not prepared, Police say, Photo: Adobe Stock (for representation purposes only)

Police are asking local fishing enthusiasts to stay safe while dropping a line after a person was rescued during the early hours of Friday, 16 February. He was stuck on the rocks at Bethells Beach. The Police Eagle helicopter was deployed and observed the fisherman, who was unable to get back to land with the incoming tide.

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter was contacted, along with Police Search and Rescue, and the man was picked up safe and well.

Sergeant Mark Jamieson, air support unit supervisor, said responding Police thought this was going to end in a fatality.

“It is incredibly lucky our staff did not have to inform a family their loved one wasn’t coming home. However, it doesn’t always end with good news.”

Senior Sergeant Garry Larsen, of the Auckland Maritime Unit, said Police are urging those who go rock fishing to be aware of their surroundings, especially on West Coast beaches.

“The combination of its remote location, slippery rocks, and unpredictable sea conditions creates a perilous environment even for the most experienced fishers.

“We have seen too many tragedies unfold in such high-risk areas.”

He added that while rock fishing is a popular pastime, it can be dangerous if anglers are not prepared.

“Always wear a life jacket when rock fishing, even though you’re not out on the water. Make sure you’ve checked tide and swell information before heading out, so you’re not caught off guard. You should also never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas.”

Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter attending air crew officer Callan Carn-Bennett reiterated the message.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing far too many incidents of people requiring rescuing from precarious locations.

“It’s important you know what you are doing and know how to use your gear before attempting to fish from rocks in areas that may be too risky.”

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