Our latest lifejacket hub is now established in partnership with Bethells Surf Lifesaving Club. This is in response to our Rock Fishing project and our knowledge that many fishers still do not wear life jackets. One of the barriers to wearing lifejackets is the cost. The intention of the lifejacket hub is to give people access to lifejackets at no cost, or for a gold-coin donation if they wish.
We also have many other lifejacket hubs across Auckland where you can loan a lifejacket for yourself or group for up to two weeks at a time free of charge. Click to find a lifejacket hub close to you.
Many thanks to Maritime New Zealand whose funding enabled the establishment of these hubs.
Recently, two fishermen went fishing at 5am in the morning with no lifejackets and wearing unsuitable clothing. It was still dark outside and they used head torches to navigate around the rocks at South Piha, on Auckland’s West Coast. The surf conditions on this day were not suitable for fishing from the rocks, with 3m plus swells hitting the coastline and strong onshore winds generating further swell. As they navigated the dark and large waves surging up against the rocks, one fisherman fell into the water and drowned, presumably due to the large surf conditions and lack of a lifejacket that could have otherwise provided flotation. The callout squad from SLSNR was notified just after 5am and a land-based only search was conducted as conditions were unsuitable for lifeguards to attempt an in-water search.
With compassion for the family, we would like to highlight that fisher drownings are preventable and can be avoided by following key safety messages;
Check Weather and Tides
Wear Suitable Clothing
Wear a Lifejacket
Drowning Prevention Auckland, Surf Life Saving Northern Region and Auckland Council are delivering their 15th year of the West Coast Rock Fishing project. This collaborative programme provides further education, awareness and workshops on Rock Fishing safety for our communities. Please contact Harry if you have a group interested to learn more: [email protected]