DANGER ZONE: Rock fishing is a popular pastime but also one of the leading causes of coastal drowning in Australia.
DANGER ZONE: Rock fishing is a popular pastime but also one of the leading causes of coastal drowning in Australia. Rachel Vercoe

The most dangerous sport in our nation

ROCK fishing has been dubbed the most dangerous sport in Australia due to the risks of injury and immersion.

It's also rated the third highest cause of coastal drowning in Australia.

With two deaths of rock fishermen over the Easter period and more than 1.2million people taking part in the activity annually, Surf Life Saving Australia is reminding people rock fishing safety is a priority.

The rocky coastline combined with frequent hazardous surf conditions create a high-risk environment for fishers, and waves and slippery surfaces are prevalent factors in rock fishing fatalities.

In the past 13 years, there has been a total of 158 rock fishing deaths involving 150 males with an average age of 45 years. Research from multiple agencies and state governments show life jackets are not being worn by the majority of participants and 99per cent of victims were without a personal floatation device or life jacket when they drowned.

Rock fishing safety advice from Surf Life Saving Australia:

Wear a life jacket;

Check tides, weather and surf conditions;

Take personal responsibility, think twice and assess your safety;

Plan an escape route in case you are washed into the water;

Wear the right gear;

Never fish alone and make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you will be back;

Look for angel rings or other floatation devices to throw to someone in trouble;

Call 000 if assistance is required.

For more information, visit beachsafe.org.au.



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