Although angling can seem like a harmless activity, the dangers that large bodies of water pose should always be considered before grabbing your line. Tragically we see a number of anglers lose their lives to drowning each year. So, when taking to the river banks you should keep in mind the following points:
- Always wear something that is designed to help you float, even if you can swim
- Anglers shouldn’t wade in water if the river has a strong current. Always wear a floatation vest when wading
- When you arrive at your spot, consider what you will do if you fall into the water and consider where you can get out
- Take a mobile phone to call 999 if you see someone in trouble
- Know where you are located so that you can direct the emergency services to your area if you need to
- Know how to perform CPR and learn some basic lifesaving skills
- Flooded wellington boots or waders make it very difficult to move and can be a significant hazard. Do you need to wear them?
- Be aware of local water hazards such as weirs, strong currents, slippery or undercut banks etc.
- Always try to set up in a safe position with even ground
- Have a throw line with you and get experience in how to use it
Dr Cliff Nelson, RLSS UK’s Head of Water Safety Management, said: “People often don’t realise the dangers that rivers and open water pose. We want people to enjoy themselves, but look out for their safety and the safety of others when around water.
“When angling you should always ensure that you wear a buoyancy aid if you can’t swim, be trained in CPR and have a throw line on hand which you know how to use. These simple changes could help prevent drowning and keep you and others safe.
“The RLSS UK offers a fantastic National Water Safety Management Programme, making people aware of the dangers around large bodies of water and teaching them how to react in an emergency.”
The Water Accident and Incident database (WAID) statistics revealed that in 2014:
- 14 anglers died from drowning
- 9 died from angling in the ocean and 5 from angling inland
- 40 per cent of people who drown never meant to end up in the water
- Around 400 people died from accidental drowning in the UK every year
If you want to learn how to stay safe near water when angling, take a look at The Royal Life Saving Society UK’s National Water Safety Management Programme.