Your own lifesaver
Angling is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the coast – but, if you’re not properly prepared, things can go wrong.
Between 2011 and 2015, 50 anglers lost their lives while fishing around the UK coast. Sadly, expert evidence suggests that many of those lives might have been saved if the anglers had been wearing lifejackets.
If you’re in the sea and you’re wearing a lifejacket, you’re four times more likely to survive. Read our handy guide Choose it, Wear it: The RNLI Guide to Lifejackets and Buoyancy Aids (PDF 35MB) to help you select the right option for you.
Why should I wear a lifejacket when angling?
Photographer, writer and ‘fishing junkie’ Henry Gilbey came to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to find out how useful a lifejacket really is for anglers. As Henry admits in our video, he had never worn a lifejacket while out fishing before. Watch what happens when he puts one to the test.
'It's never going to happen to me'
‘Surely I don’t need a lifejacket if I’ve got a flotation suit?’ ‘Won’t my waders help me float?’ Watch our short video series unpicking the common myths about wearing a lifejacket. Featuring real anglers and real scenarios, we’ll show you what really happens when your equipment hits the water – the results may surprise you.
Learn how to help save your life
Your lifejacket can mean all the difference between life and death – but only if you know how to maintain it properly. At our free lifejacket clinics, our specially trained volunteers will inspect your lifejacket, help you find and fix any problems and show you how to carry out your own safety checks. At a recent clinic, 80% of personal lifejackets were found to have faults or serious defects – don’t leave it until an emergency to find out how yours performs when you need it most.
You can also learn how to check your lifejacket yourself by watching our video
"If you don't wear a lifejacket you're as good as dead"
Colm Plunkett chose to wear his lifejacket while angling – a decision that ultimately saved his life. While fishing at Dursey in Co Cork in August 2015, he was swept from the rocks and into the sea. Watch his story.
How to call for help
Even when angling close to the shore, life-threatening incidents can happen at any time. So it’s important that you carry a means of calling for help and keep it on you at all times. Watch our video with angling enthusiast Henry Gilbey, who asks the all-important questions against a range of devices.
Whichever devices you choose to call for help, you must be able to reach it easily in an emergency. We recommend that you use more than one device – don’t rely on a single method of calling for help.
Read ocean sailor Pip Hare’s review of the various products available on the market (July 2016).
Angling from a boat
Boat leaks and swamping can cause many serious incidents – in 2016 alone, our lifeboat volunteers rescued 923 anglers from vessels. Watch our short video, and in the next 3 minutes you could learn how to make some simple checks before setting out on your next trip. They could save your life.
Weather and tides
Don’t let the weather spoil your day. Always check the weather forecast and sea conditions before you set off. Get regular updates if you’re planning to be out for any length of time. And be prepared to change your plans or cancel the trip if the forecast is unfavourable.
Check the weather
Met Office - inshore waters forecast
As well as providing an inshore waters forecast, the RYA SafeTrx app tracks your voyages and alerts emergency contacts if you fail to return home on time.
Check the tides
Admiralty EasyTide – the UK government’s tidal prediction service.
anyTide app – tidal and current predictions from the National Oceanography Centre.
7 UK angling fatalities in 2017
10 lives saved by our crews from angling incidents in 2017
37 lifeboats launched to anglers from the shore in 2017
178 lifeboats launched to anglers from a boat in 2017