A Whitby angling shop has signed up to an ambassador scheme to help the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) communicate vital safety advice to anglers.
The scheme is part of an angling safety campaign, which the RNLI has launched, urging shore anglers to always wear a lifejacket.
Whitby Angling Supplies, in Church Street, is one of 30 shops throughout the UK supporting the scheme.
In Yorkshire, the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews have rescued eight shore anglers and have launched to assist 13 between 2010 and 20141.
Over the past five years, 24 anglers have died while fishing from rocks or the shoreline in the UK.
According to research conducted by the RNLI, only 10 per cent of shore anglers wear lifejackets – yet an expert casualty review panel found that 81 per cent of the fatalities reviewed between 2007 and 2013 could have been prevented had the casualties been wearing lifejackets.
The safety campaign, which will feature in angling press, online and in participating angling stores, advises: Don’t be an amateur – wear a lifejacket. The ambassador stores are supporting the campaign by handing out angling safety packs, containing bait wrap and stickers with safety messages on them.
In-store, they will also have display pieces including concrete T-shirts and wellies, to make the point that if you fall in the water without wearing a lifejacket, the weight of your wet clothes could easily drag you down.
The shop staff have received training from RNLI volunteers to give safety advice. The other items are designed to stimulate conversation between the staff and customers.
Chris Adams, RNLI coastal safety manager, explainsed the reasoning behind the scheme.
“The remote locations often favoured by anglers can leave them particularly vulnerable if the worst should happen, exacerbated by the fact that lifejacket wear is not common among the angling community, which greatly reduces their chances of survival if they end up in the water.”
The campaign forms part of the RNLI’s work to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.
See www.rnli.org/angling for more information.