Fishing is one of WA’s most loved and enjoyed recreation with 740,000 fishers wetting a line each year. People go fishing from the beach, in the river, under the water, from a boat and kayak, and from the rocks. Recfishwest strives hard to keep fishers safe in WA and with the help of Fish and Survive, Recfishwest want to make sure every fisher returns home safely after a days fishing.
Fish and Survive
Fish and Survive is Recfishwest’s Fishing Safety Campaign that helps brings fishers home safe after a days fishing.
The Fish and Survive website is a great resource that identifies what safety measures need to be taken to remain safe when partaking in all forms of fishing.
You’ll find some important links on Fish and Survive that direct you to:
- Weather websites, like the Bureau of Meteorology, so you can check the conditions before you head out,
- WA’s Department of Transport’s Marine Safety website that guides you as to what safety equipment you require when venturing out on your vessel,
- Surf Life Saving WA’s website for those wanting to learn more about staying safe on our beaches
Recfishwest, through Fish and Survive, now sell the world’s best life jackets. These new slimline life jackets are designed to be worn by boaters and fishers, allowing you to move with freedom with a lifeline strapped to your body at all times. holding 200kg, with both automatic and manually inflate options and kids models (automatic only), there now is no excuse to rely on your old foam jackets to get you out of trouble. Wear a jacket with confidence and you, your mates and family will return home safe.
Fish and Survive is funded by the Western Australian Government and supported by Surf Life Saving WA, Royal Life Saving Society, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Transport, Department of Emergency Services, Department of Sport and Recreation along with local community groups, fishing clubs, tackle stores and businesses.
FREE Life Jacket Loan Program
Recfishwest, along with community partners and tackle shops provide the WA fishing community with Free Loan Life Jackets, 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.
Here is a list of the locations of where you can hire your free jacket:
Albany Rods and Tackle – 40 Stirling Terrace, Albany
Trailblazers Albany – 184 Albany Hwy, Albany
BCF Albany – 319-331 Cr Hanrahan & Mawson Street, Albany
Little Grove General Store – 639 Frenchman’s Bay Road, Albany
Tateys Bait n Tackle – 39 Norseman Rd, Esperance
Southern Sports and Tackle – Shop 16 The Boulevard, Esperance
Esperance Diving and Fishing – 72 The Esplanade, Esperance
Dempster Sporting and Tackle – 65 Dempster St, Esperance
Quobba Station – 80km NW of Carnarvon
Carnarvon Tackle and Marine – Harbour Road, Small Boat Harbour South Carnarvon
Duke Of Orleans Caravan Park – 1-5 Warden Road, Chadwick
Kalbarri Sports and Dive – Shop 3 Kalbarri Arcade, Kalbarri
Tel-O-Mac Tackle – 348 Robinson St, Carnarvon
Augusta X-Treme Outdoor Sports – 3/66 Blackwood Ave, Augusta
Down South Camping and Outdoors – Shop 1/40 Station Road, Margaret River
Steep Point Ranger Station, Shark Bay
Bremer Bay Rural and Hardware, 144 Wellstead Road, Bremer Bay
Dunsborough Outdoor Sportz, Shop 5, Dunsborough Park Shopping Centre, Dunsborough WA 6281
Hopetoun Iceworks, 24 Tamar St, Hopetoun WA 6348
Albany Migrant Resource Centre 211-217 North Rd, Albany
Katanning Migrant Resource Centre – 56 Clive street, Katanning
Buy a Life Jacket
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 expetced!
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 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 66 Angel rings installed around Western Australia.
You can find Angel Rings at:
- Steep Point at False Entrance, Thunder Bay Blow Holes, The Oven. the Fault Line
- Dirk Hartog Island at Quion HEad, Urchin Point, West Point
- Quobba at Blowholes, Old Boundary, Loopy’s, High Rock, 2 Mile, Whistling Rock, The Ledge, Camp Rock, The Caves
- Kalbarri at Red Bluff, Pot Alley, Gulch
- Capes Region, South West at Sugarloaf Rock, Torpedo Rocks, Canal Rocks, Wyadup, Merchant Rock, Slopeys, The Point, Boranup North Point, Skippy Rock, Gracetown North Point, Redgate Beach, Conto Springs, Knobby Head, Round Rock, cosy Corner, Cape Leeuwin Water Wheel
- Denmark at Ocean Beach, McGearys Rock, Black Holes, Sinker Bay, Boat Harbour,
- Albany at Salmon Holes, The Deeps, Lowlands, Tourist Rock at Cheynes Beach, Three Steps at Cheynes Beach, Maitraya at Nannarup Beach, Cable Beach in Tornidurrup National Park, Blow Holes in Tornidurrup National Park, The Steps at West Cape Howe, Dunsky’s at West Cape Howe
- Esperance at Twilight Beach, Wharton Beach, Quagi Beach, Starvation Bay, Thistle Cove, Skippy Rocks, Dunns Rocks, Cape Leeuwin.
Do you have a local rock that you think needs an Angel Ring? Let us know. Email our Safety Officer here.
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 (10), Hellfire Bay (4), Thomas River (4), Dolphin Cove (3), Dunn Rock (4).
- 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.
Key Messages for Rock Fishing Safety
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.
Key Messages for Rock Fishing Safety
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 www.bom.gov.au 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.
Don’t ever turn your back on the ocean – if the waves, weather or swell threaten your fishing spot then leave immediately.