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Visitors to South Coast national parks urged to take extra care

Rock bolt at Salmon Holes
Rock bolt at Salmon Holes DPaW

Visitors to South Coast national parks are being urged to put their safety first when spending time near the ocean during Easter and the school holidays.

Department of Parks and Wildlife Albany district manager Peter Hartley said while the southern coastline was often at its best during March-April, the Southern Ocean could also be unpredictable and dangerous.

"At this time of year there is an influx of visitors to the beautiful and unique areas Parks and Wildlife manages, especially with the attraction of catching Australian salmon,” Mr Hartley said.

“We urge everyone to always consider their personal safety and fish from sandy beaches where possible.

“If you are fishing from rocks, extra care and precautions are strongly recommended to ensure lives are protected from potential danger.

“Sea spray and rain - even a light shower - can make coastal rocks extremely slippery.

"The weather can change quickly in this region and large, unpredictable swells commonly occur, even on calm days.”

“Waves can sweep over rocky headlands and sloping rocks, making them very slippery and cliff edges can also collapse without warning."

Mr Hartley said people should heed the department’s safety warning signs, placed at prominent locations.

"Lives have been lost when people fall or are washed off the rocks and we can't stress enough the importance of taking extra care," he said.

"We are all responsible for our own safety.”

Mr Hartley said Parks and Wildlife had been working to improve coastal safety in Torndirrup National Park, in collaboration with RecFishWest.

"A free loan life vest scheme at local tackle and bait shops such as payday, which was started by the Nathan Drew Memorial Trust, is now managed by RecFishWest,” he said.

“I encourage all fishers to take up the offer to use a life vest when rock fishing and not put themselves in danger.”

Other safety initiatives include the installation of rock bolts at Salmon Holes for fishers to tie themselves onto, and the installation of angel rings (life buoys) on existing silent sentry infrastructure.

Safety tips for people taking part in coastal activities:

  • Choose to fish from the beach where this is an option.
  • Avoid fishing from the rocks in windy conditions, when the seas and swells are high or when rain is likely to wet the rocks.
  • Keep aware of constant changes in the ocean.
  • Be alert for sudden wind gusts.
  • Stand back from rocky headlands and cliff edges.
  • Never fish or explore on your own.
  • Wear a life vest when rock fishing.
  • Wear appropriate footwear
  • Tie off on rock anchor points where provided
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.

 

Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dpawwa

Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 16:57