Rock fishing is one of the top causes of coastal drownings in Australia. The Sutherland Shire coastline is known as one of the most dangerous rock fishing areas in Australia. The isolated locations of these fishing spots means they are a long distance from lifesaving services.
Rock fishing safety
- Always wear a lifejacket
In line with the Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016, people rock fishing must wear an appropriate lifejacket. Fines apply for not complying. The Lifejacket Portal contains information on choosing the right jacket, and on legislation and regulations.
- Wear appropriate footwear and clothing
Non-slip footwear such as spiked boots or cleats are recommended. You should also wear light clothing that’s easy to swim in, in case you fall into the water.
- Stay weather alert
Check the weather forecast, surf conditions and coastal warnings. Know when high and low tides are due.
- Never jump in if someone is washed in
Throw a floatation device to the swimmer and call 000.
- Never fish alone
Always fish with another person.
- Plan an escape route in case you are washed in
Before you start fishing, identify a location that you can swim towards or a higher ledge or platform.
- Never turn your back on the ocean
Always watch the ocean and your surroundings.
- Carefully assess the conditions
Spend at least 20 minutes assessing the conditions before you start fishing.