Anglers are also reminded to follow HSE and Government advice regarding physical distancing and outdoor gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
According to the latest figures from Water Safety Ireland, a total of 105 people — 25 female and 80 male — drowned in Irish waters last year.
Over the last 10 years, 1,200 people drowned in Ireland — an average of 10 every month — with many drownings happening quickly, silently and in cooler water with hidden currents that impairs the ability to swim and float.
As angling is a water-based activity, anglers often have to deal with changing conditions and hidden dangers.
IFI is reminding anglers to exercise great care for their own safety and that of angling partners.
While wearing a life jacket on a boat is mandatory, Inland Fisheries Ireland would advise anglers to wear one when on or near water.
Anglers are asked to follow some simple safety tips when going fishing:
- Wear a life jacket
- Follow advice on warning signs, permits and notices
- Don’t take any risks when wading or fishing from boat, shore or bank
- Check the weather forecast and tide tables before you go
- Take time to observe weather, water and tide conditions while fishing
- Fish with a partner/buddy or let someone know where you’re going
- Take a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case/bag
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
“There are 273,000 domestic anglers in Ireland and many of these anglers have been fishing for years and may feel experienced being near or on the water,” says Suzanne Campion of IFI.
“However, we would appeal to anglers to follow these simple safety steps at all times. Under current conditions anglers that are fishing are being reminded to adhere to IFI’s angling guidelines. Government advice to stop the spread of Coronavirus is Be Responsible, Be Safe.
Speaking about safety precautions in regard to overhead electricity wires, Arthur Byrne, public safety manager at
ESB Networks also reminded about safety precautions with regard to overhead electricity wires.
Public safety manager Arthur Byrne says: “We would like to remind the public to keep a safe distance from overhead electricity wires; coming close to these live wires is extremely hazardous and can be fatal.
“ESB Networks asks anglers to never fish or cast where there are overhead wires nearby as coming close to electricity wires with something you are holding puts you at risk of electric shock or electrocution.
“In case of an emergency or if you see something unusual, please stay clear and immediately call the ESB Networks emergency number 1800 372 999. Further information is available at www.esbnetworks.ie/staying-safe”
IFI has a detailed guide to safety available online. You can also download a free copy of the Angling Safety Checklist and the more detailed Angling Safety Guidelines.