As Australia’s population has steadily increased over time, so has the diversity and makeup of the people within it. Victoria becomes more culturally diverse each day and unfortunately many of these more recent Australians have not received water or swimming education that is so important to their safety, this being due to a number of barriers to participation.
Participation barriers include distance to facilities, lack of transport, difficulty with language and costs. Prioritising aquatics has often been difficult in their countries of birth due to factors such as residing in land locked regions or growing up in areas involved in economic or political uncertainty.
Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) Multicultural Department’s has committed to projects that will play a needy and vital role in improving opportunities for all Victorians and other Australians to receive fundamental water safety messages and education.
One new project being implemented by Life Saving Victoria will be to host a number of free rock fishing sessions in the coming months that are open to anyone interested in the sport. The session will provide fishing tips, equipment demonstrations and safety information.
As long term advocate for the wearing of lifejackets by rock fisherman, how could we not support such an initiative and what better day to ensure the message gets out than on – Ready Set Wear It Day, May 17th.
Life Saving Victoria have said that “fishing from rock ledges, submerged rocks, rock faces and rocks that go into the water – is a popular, yet potentially dangerous aquatic sport in Australia. It can however, be enjoyed safely if appropriate safety precautions are taken when rock fishing.”
Their following safety tips for rock fisherman of all nationalities are:
- Always wear a life jacket
- Never fish alone
- Inform others of your plans
- Wear light clothing and appropriate footwear
- Carry safety gear – carry a rope and a float
- Never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas
- Observe first, fish later
- Plan an escape route in case you are washed in
- Stay alert
- Ask for advice from locals who know the area