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Stay safe advice for anglers: 'Look before you hook'

Anglers are being urged to ‘look before they hook’, to reduce the number of fishing accidents involving overhead power lines.

Last year, our engineers responded to more than 370 incidents where members of the public had come into contact with overhead lines while taking part in various outdoor activities.

As the fishing season gets underway, anglers are being reminded that contact with overhead lines causes electric shocks, severe and debilitating burn injuries and, in some cases, death.

Fishing rods and poles made from metal, carbon fibre or similar materials will conduct electricity. Many accidents happen when anglers are carrying equipment, such as long poles, from the car park to their chosen fishing spot and make contact with overhead lines.

Eddie Cochrane, WPD Safety Adviser, said: “Every year, we respond to hundreds of incidents where people have come into contact with overhead lines and, as peak fishing season approaches, this is a timely reminder of the dangers posed by electricity.

“Anglers can avoid the dangers by making sure they ‘look before they hook’, and fish safely away from overhead power lines.”

Top five tips on angling safety:

  1. ‘Look before you hook’. Do not fish close to overhead power lines. Be aware of your surroundings and look out for warning signs
  2. Fishing rods and almost all long objects can conduct electricity. When carrying fishing rods or other equipment, keep at least six metres between the object and overhead power lines. Always carry long objects, like fishing poles, horizontally and parallel with the ground.
  3. Lethal electric currents can pass through almost all fishing rods and poles. Unpack, set up and put away your rod at the water’s edge.
  4. Tell the fishery owner if you spot a dangerous situation or near miss involving electricity.
  5. If you see a fishing line tangled in overhead power lines, do not attempt to remove it. Report it to WPD by calling our emergency number, 105.

See our Angling Safety page for more information.