News State Western Australia Angler ‘didn’t have safety vest’

Angler ‘didn’t have safety vest’

The Albany sea rescue boat is sent out regularly for rescues.
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A woman who drowned after falling into waters while rock fishing was not wearing safety gear, the Albany Sea Rescue Squad says.

Police launched an aerial and water search after receiving an emergency call at about 3:30pm on Friday at Little Beach, around 40 kilometres east of Albany, on WA’s South Coast.

Rescuers found the body of the woman, believed to be in her 40s, a short time later.

The squad’s Chris Johns said it was frustrating that people continued to ignored safety measures, including wearing life-jackets, especially while fishing off rocks.

“If people had some common sense to wear something even basic, we would get them alive,” he said.

“There was a six-metre swell, we were there within probably an hour, which was a quick response, and we got smashed, basically.

“I’m a commercial diver and Two People’s Bay is one of my backyards; it surprises me constantly – every day I’m out there, I see people out there in the position without safety gear.”

Mr Johns said the woman was not the only one fishing without safety gear.

“These people, all of them standing on the rocks yesterday that we could see, had no safety gear, not one of them,” he said.

“Certainly this person had nothing, in fact [the woman] had her handbag and her backpack and stuff with her.”

‘Should we just increase our supply of body bags?’

Mr Johns said that many times rescuers had been unable to save people because they did not take basic safety measures.

“This is a remote location, 40 kilometres by road. It’s very easy for life to be snuffed out by silly decisions, firstly by making decisions and thinking that these areas are safe,” he said.

“It’s not Two People’s Bay that is dangerous, it’s decisions people make that are dangerous.

“The most basic of gear would have kept this person alive and I don’t know any way of getting through to these rock fisherman about wearing a flotation device and we’re sick of it, nothing ever changes.

“We were in front of the family and friends, not one of them has any kind of device on them or anything they could have thrown to this person… you think, well, what’s the bloody point?

“Should we even have safety gear on our boats or should we just increase our supply of body bags?”