Coastguards Warn Anglers

Following seven days of tragedy in the North East, Coastguards are urging anglers to stay safe on the coast. On average, 7 anglers lose their lives on the UK coast every year but in the past week her majesty’s Coastguard have dealt with three incidents already.

A man was killed near Newbiggin, Northumberland, when the cliff he was fishing from collapsed; a County Durham man is missing after not returning from fishing on the beach near Blackhall.  Most recently a 52 year old man who was angling was seriously injured after he fell 70ft down a narrow shaft on a disused industrial pier near Hartlepool last night. Over the previous18 months two anglers have lost their lives off the Aberdeen coast, most recently last Sunday.

Greg Albrighton of HM Coastguard, whose operational area covers all three of the incidents in the North East urged anglers to think about their personal safety and to look at the potential risks that are inherent when fishing from the coast, especially in winter and in the hours of darkness. Although very different incidents, the common link with all three is angling and at least two were easily avoidable.

–    Beware of eroding and dangerous cliffs
–    Get a tide table and use it – do not become trapped by the incoming tide 
–    Keep off piers during rough seas 
–    Wear a lifejacket if there is any chance that you could be swept into or fall into the water
–    Tell someone exactly where you will be fishing and when you will return
–    Carry a mobile phone and make sure the battery is fully charged
–    Dress appropriately for the cold and wet weather