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Salmon Holes fishing death: Recfishwest urges greater safety for WA anglers

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WA's peak recreational fishing body has called on anglers to take more responsibility for their safety following the death of a man swept off rocks at Albany's notorious Salmon Holes.

Recfishwest spokesman Tim Grose said anglers should really even question whether they absolutely needed to fish off rocks – anywhere - in the first place.

"Beach fishing at Salmon Holes can be terrific and fishing from the safety of the sand is the way to go," he said.

Police divers recovered the body of a 30-year-old man on Wednesday morning after he was swept off rocks at the popular fishing spot on Tuesday afternoon.

Two men died last year after being swept away at the same spot on April 18. Only one body was found.

A man also drowned there in May 2013.

The Recfishwest website warns of a long history of accidents along the south coast of WA in particular between Albany and Walpole, and around Esperance. Rock fishing is also popular in the South West region along much of the coast in the Leeuwin–Naturaliste National Park.

Further north, fishing from the cliffs at Kalbarri and local conditions at Shark Bay offer their own risks to anglers.

Mr Grose said a number of safety items were already installed at Salmon Holes including flotation rings and buoys along with anchor points to which anglers could harness themselves.

An emergency telephone would also be installed soon.

"Anyone who is committed to fishing off the rocks – particularly the treacherously slippery 'black rock' – should take all precautions and make sure they have appropriate safety gear
including personal flotation devices and purpose-designed footwear," Mr Grose said.

The Recfishwest spokesman said a number of tackle shops in Albany offered loans of life jackets to people who wanted to fish from rocks.

"They can also provide maps of safe spots to fish from," he said.

Recreational anglers in NSW can sign on for alerts that advise when conditions for safe fishing are adverse.

"That's something that we're looking to incorporate into our safety program," Mr Grose said.

For a full list of fishing safety advice please visit recfishwest's website here
 
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