New WA-founded invention is a must-have for spearfishers

If you ever dive from a boat, you would have felt that horrible momentary feeling when you look around and for a second it has disappeared behind the waves leaving you thinking, what next?

Simon McLernon is a passionate diver and spearfisher.

“Diving in remote locations always reminds me that the boat is our life line,” Vice-President of Bluewater Freedivers of Western Australia (BFWA) Simon McLernon, pictured, said.

“The boat is our only chance to return home safe after a day of fishing.

“As a diver, we trust that our boat will stay put but there is still a chance for something to go wrong and have our only lifeline drift away from us.”

BFWA is a club which places a strong emphasis on safety.

From their experience diving in many offshore and remote locations across WA, divers from the club identified the need for a piece of safety equipment that would allow them to carry key survival gear such as bottled water, an EPIRB and flares with them at all times while in the water.

Enter, the Bluewater Safety Float.

In 2014, the club embarked on a mission to create the Bluewater Safety Float to ensure that diving off WA was as safe as possible.

The club has since designed, built and field tested a dive float that is a must have for not only divers but boaties as well. The Bluewater Safety Float keeps all your safety gear in one spot and is ready when you need it most!

What you need to know:

  • It was designed by WA spearos and divers;
  • It is a high strength rigid float which has been tested for full submersion;
  • This float has 19L of water tight storage volume and 20kg of buoyancy perfect for holding an EPIRP, flares, water and any additional safety gear when out on the water;
  • It’s high flotation and shape allows it to be towed along by a diver with ease or support a tired crew member separated from their craft;
  • It is constructed using high-quality materials and is UV resistant with a hi-vis colour that will not fade;
  • It has 3 high strength swivel attachment points, grab handles, a push in flagpole and dive flag;
  • If you’re a diver it will keep your safety gear with you and not in your boat that could be floating away with a snapped anchor rope; and,
  • The innovative float was designed by WA spearos and divers.

    If you’re a boatie, it’s the ultimate grab bag for you to store all things safety and will give you added buoyancy when in the water.

How many times have we all had our safety gear checked at the ramp or seen others rummaging under the bow or in various compartments pulling out an EPIRB, flares and life jackets.

It seems crazy that we pack safety gear sporadically, when you need it most you always want it in one easily accessible location.

Simon recently had an experience that highlighted to him the importance of this new innovation.

“I was freediving with friends on a calm day several kilometres from shore when we came across a boat that was drifting through where we were diving,” he said.

“We noticed that there was no one on board and by the looks of the gear on board we figured they must be divers. My mate jumped in and drove the boat around where we could tie it up to ours while we continually scanned the waters for a lost diver.

“After about 20 worrying minutes we spotted a scuba diver surface about 100m away. With all his equipment it took the exhausted diver at least another 10min to swim over to us much slower than the speed that the boat was drifting.

“If we hadn’t been there they would’ve had no chance at chasing down their boat which had all their safety gear on board.”

While the original plan for the club was to develop enough for its members, its identified importance as a piece of safety equipment has meant the club has managed to make them now available for all fishers.

You can purchase your own Bluewater Safety Float from Recfishwest’s Fish and Survive website.

This initiative was sponsored by a Community Grant, was supported by Recfishwest and the Department of Fisheries.

The float is designed by WA fishers for WA conditions. All profits from sales of the Bluewater Safety Float will be invested back into fishing safety so that more initiatives like this can be undertaken to ensure the State’s fishers keep coming home safe.

Continue Reading

February 22, 2024

Metro southern garfish ban lifted

In good news for metro anglers, the ban on southern garfish from Lancelin to Myalup is due to be lifted from Friday 1 March.   The ban was implemented in 2017 after an assessment by the Fisheries Department showed…

Read More

February 20, 2024

Recfishwest calls for clarity on proposed offshore wind energy (OWE) projects’ impacts on the marine environment and fishing

Recfishwest  says the announcement by the Commonwealth Government on the area being proposed for offshore wind farms was disappointingly light on critical details. The proposal released yesterday has left fishers…

Read More

February 16, 2024

Recfishwest calls on Government to listen to local fishers and re-think illogical and unjustifiable no fishing zones

Recfishwest says that some of the proposed no-fishing zones in the Government’s South Coast Marine Park plans released today are “completely illogical and unjustifiable”. Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said, “…

Read More

February 14, 2024

Recfishwest welcomes Fisheries Minister’s west coast demersal reallocation decision

Recfishwest welcomes today’s decision by Fisheries Minister Don Punch to reallocate 20 tonnes of the west coast demersal catch to the recfishing sector – just over a year after changes to the fishery were made. …

Read More

January 31, 2024

Fishability launches new Perth vessel to help people with disabilities enjoy the magic of fishing on the Swan River!

Recfishwest and Fisheries Minister Don Punch joined fishing charity Fishability at the Royal Perth Yacht Club on the Swan River to launch its fantastic, new 8.75m specially adapted boat to give people with…

Read More

January 31, 2024

West coast demersal closure from 1 February – recfishers leading by example

From Thursday, 1 February, the west coast demersal fishery between Kalbarri and Augusta will be closed until 29 March (Good Friday) to recfishers.   It’s great to see recfishers play their part in the recovery of…

Read More