Fishing Safety

As great as fishing is, there’s no point if you don’t live to tell the tale. At Recfishwest, we work tirelessly to promote amongst our community the need for safety to be part of every fishing experience.

We work with  land managers, government agencies and key partners to drive behaviour change amongst fishers through community awareness, messaging and safety initiatives.

It is with support from the community and close partnerships with Key government departments, volunteer organisations and stakeholder groups that are focused on aquatic environment, recreation and safety; that has enabled us to achieve some outstanding projects over the past 5 years. These can be viewed below.

Partnerships include working with Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Surf Life Saving Western Australia, Royal Life Saving Society Western Australia and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Fish and Survive

Our Fish and Survive program is designed to change behaviour and promote fishing safety through communications and public awareness initiatives while facilitating the installation of life-saving devices at high-risk fishing locations across WA.

The Fish and Survive website and supporting Facebook page promotes safe fishing and give you the tools, information and safety equipment you need to ensure you return home safe after a days fishing. It also influences the fishing community to change their behaviours and attitudes towards wearing life jackets. Recfishwest is providing an avenue for people to purchase slim fitting, comfortable life jackets at an affordable price, to help ensure more people wear life jackets and return home safe!


FREE Life Jacket Loan Program

Recfishwest, along with community partners and tackle shops provide the WA fishing community with Free Loan Lifejackets, where rock fishers can head into their local regional tackle shop and hire a life jacket for free for the day. This is a service that we believe help bring fishers home safe.

International Safety Experts, Survitec, have also partnered with Recfishwest to help provide the WA fishing public with the best possible life jackets in the world, Crewsaver. The jackets that are available for hire are Manual Inflating jackets that require you to pull the ‘inflate’ toggle when you enter the water.

If you notice your jacket is damaged, or you’ve had to inflate it, please return it to store owner and let them know and we can replace it.

Click here to see where you can hire a lifejacket.

Buy a Lifejacket

The Crewfit 165N Sport uses the latest 3D technology, ensuring maximum comfort levels for all users. The Crewfit 165N Sport has the essential features to ensure the recreational user remains safe when out on the water. The slimline, lightweight jacket ensures you can carry out important fishing tasks like casting, pulling your lobster pots, pulling the anchor rope and reeling in that fish of a lifetime.

We believe these are the best jacket for the complete fisher and we wouldn’t sell them if we didn’t believe these were the best jacket on the market to bring you and your family home safe.

Fish and Survive now stock the new Crewsaver life jackets ‘the Rolls Royce of Life Jackets’. Check them out here.

Gone are the days of stuffing the old yellow foam jackets under the seat or taking up room on the boat; or if you go in the drink while fishing from rocks; or roll your kayak in fast flowing water – these crewsaver’s are designed to be worn in case an emergency in upon you quicker than expected!

As a not for profit organisation, proceeds from jacket sales goes back into better fishing in Western Australia and allows us to keep working to bring you and our family home safe after a day on the water.

“The days of stuffing your old foam yellow life jacket under the boat seat are gone. We want people wearing life jackets and I believe these slimline fitting jackets are the best available.”

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland


Angel Rings

Angel Rings are life buoys, which are designed to keep someone afloat and away from the rocks until help arrives or a rescue can be organised. Angel Rings are vital pieces of public safety equipment and should not be tampered with or removed unless being used in a rescue.

With the help and support of local land managers, including local shires and the Department of Parks and Wildlife, more and more Angel Rings are being installed state-wide at high risk rock fishing locations.

There are now 67 Angel rings installed around Western Australia. Click here to view the map.

If you know of a rock fishing location that could do with an Angel Ring, let Recfishwest know at

Rock Anchor Points

Anchor points have been trialed and installed at selected high risk rock fishing locations, mainly throughout the South West and South Coast of Western Australia.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife, along with Local Government, and community groups, community champions and volunteers have installed rock anchor points:

  • Salmon Holes in Albany, has 6 rock anchor points installed.
  • Esperance at Wharton Beach (3), Quagi Beach (3), Thistle Cove (9), Hellfire Bay (4), Thomas River (4), Dolphin Cove (3), Dunn Rock (4), Salmon Beach (7), Chapmans Point (7), Wiley Bay (5).
  • South West in Leeuwin – Naturalise National Park including: Rocky Point, Cape Naturaliste, Sugarloaf Rock, Torpedo Rocks, Wyadup, Contos, Boranup (North-Point) and Skippy Rock.

To tie up to an anchor point you will need about 10m of rope (length varies depending on site). Use this to tie a bowline knot at the anchor point and check the knot is secure by pulling it.

Using the other end of the rope attach it to a harness or wrap around the waist and secure. Avoid slack in the rope when fishing as waves can still wash you off your feet and onto the rocks.

Click here for an information sheet on anchor points in the south west region

Key Messages for Rock Fishing Safety

Rock Fishing

Accident data show that many of the incidents involve local residents who often have considerable prior experience of the coastline. More recently, DPaW staff have indicated that there is a trend towards a greater proportion of rock fishers being of Asian background and visitors to the region, unaware of the risks or unable to read the warning signs.


한국어 자막 바위 낚시 안전 비디오를 시청하려면 여기를 클릭하십시오

Để xem một tảng đá hình an toàn cá với phụ đề tiếng việt, nhấn vào đây

Key Messages for Rock Fishing Safety

Tell someone

Always let friends or family know where you are going, when you’ll be back and if your plans change.

Never fish alone

Always fish with a buddy; if you get into any trouble, they can help. If you’re new to rock fishing, go with an experienced fisher.

Know the area, know the conditions

Read all safety signage – it’s been placed there for a reason. Ask locals about the spot you plan to fish from if you’re new to the area. Make sure you are aware of the latest weather, swell and tidal predictions before going fishing (check the Bureau of Meteorology website or call 9263 2222 between 9am to 4pm). Be aware that conditions may change quickly and can vary from predicted averages.

Wear the right clothes

Light clothing such as shorts and a spray jacket will allow you to swim more freely if you are washed in. Wear appropriate footwear with non-slip soles or cleats suited to the surface you plan to fish from.

Wear a PFD

Wear a life jacket or buoyancy vest at all times. Also bring something buoyant (your fishing bucket with its lid firmly clipped on makes a great float) which can be thrown to someone in trouble to help them stay afloat. Carry rope and a torch at all times.

Observe first, fish later

Spend time (at least 20 minutes) watching your intended fishing spot to get an idea of the conditions over a full swell/wave cycle. Be prepared for waves twice the height of those observed during this period. If in doubt, don’t fish.

Plan your escape

Scan the area and look for the safest place to come ashore should you be swept in. Decide on a quick getaway route from your fishing spot, well above the high tide line should you see a large wave coming.

Use appropriate Public Safety Equipment

Know how to correctly utilise rock anchor points if they are in place at your fishing location. You will need to bring your own rope to tie up; a bowline is the best knot to use. Know where the nearest public safety equipment is – and know how to use it.

Stay alert

Don’t ever turn your back on the ocean – if the waves, weather or swell threaten your fishing spot then leave immediately.

Click here to view the Rock Fishing Safety Key Messages in a one pager.

Rock Fishing Safety Videos

Don’t Put Your Life on the Line

Chinese Subtitles: (中国的)

Korean Subtitles: (한국의)

Vietnamese Subtitles: (Việt)

Our Fishing Safety Ambassadors

Simon McLernon

Simon McLernon is an avid diver and has been a fisher his entire life. Over the past decade he has been working in a variety of different industries including ship building and subsea engineering and he now works as a Subsea engineer at BHGE. Over 3 years Simon has been volunteering his engineering skills in designing and manufacturing the Bluewater Safety Float which is designed to help increase safety for divers and other boat users. He continues to promote diver safety across his social media and amongst his networks including the Bluewater Freedivers of WA Club, of which he is a member.

Brody Laroux

Brody is Recfishwest’s safety ambassador for crayfishing and currently works for Highland Spirit Charters. With many years of experience in the industry, Brody always portrays positive ways of working on the water, including fish handling and catch care techniques. As a lover of the ocean, and all things fishing, Brody makes an ideal ambassador for all things safety.

Chris & Aaron Dixon

Based in Albany, Chris and Aaron Dixon are brothers with a passion for rock fishing. They actively promote safe fishing from the rocks and the importance of always wearing a lifejacket, across their ever growing social media platforms (currently at 3300 followers on Facebook). They are of influence to avid fishers of varying ages.

Graham Cooper

Not only is Graham an avid fisher, but he has volunteered for the Esperance Volunteer Marine Rescue for 21 years. Graham has also played a huge role in the fishing safety space by educating almost 10,000 school students on the south coast about fishing safety over the last decade. Graham has also been instrumental in leading fishing safety initiatives in Esperance, Ravensthorpe and Hopeton by pushing for public safety equipment, such as Angel Rings, Rock Anchor Points, to be installed at high risk fishing locations along the south coast. Graham is also a Recfishwest lifejacket ambassador for our Fish and Survive campaign.

Scott Coghlan

Scott is based in Albany and is a big advocate for Fish and Survive and the importance of wearing slimline lifejackets. He consistently communicates safety to a range of audiences across Social Media, Western Angler Magazine, Sunday Times and in face to face activities. Groups of influence include beginner to avid fishers of varying ages across Western Australia.

Robbie Riches

Robbie runs Perth Fishing Safaris, a local Perth business offering guided rock and beach fishing tours for small groups of fishers chasing mulloway, tailor and more. He is a strong lifejacket advocate across his social media platforms and continually promotes the importance of safety when fishing with all his clients. He’s been an advocate on Channel 10’s Offroad Adventure Show and his land-based fishing business is growing and expanding to include rock fishing safety in the northern and southern regions. He influences school aged children right through to the elderly, teaching people from various demographics and locations across the world.

Allan Bevan

Allan is an active member of the Western Australian Fishing community who is passionate about fisher safety, catch care and preservation of fish stocks for future generations. As a fishing Charter Operator in Fremantle, he takes pride in ensuring people make good decisions in all facets of fishing. Allan influences tourists and locals of varying ages and demographics.

Would you like to become a Fishing Safety Ambassador? Enquire by emailing