With the fishing season well under way and the summer holidays now upon us Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has launched a new FishSafe campaign to remind anglers in Ballymoney to look up and look out for overhead electricity equipment before they start fishing.
Every year anglers are injured or killed because they accidentally come into contact with overhead electricity lines and NIE wants every angler across Northern Ireland to cast with care.
Hal Steele, NIE Safety Engineer, says anglers can keep themselves safe by following a few simple safety precautions.
“Everyone should look up and look out for overhead lines before assembling fishing rods and fish at least 30 metres away from electricity equipment. Electricity can jump gaps and even bringing a fishing rod close to overhead lines can be very dangerous. Many modern fishing rods contain carbon fibre, which conducts electricity. Contact or near contact with overhead power lines can lead to burns or even fatal injuries.
“We will be distributing Fishing Safety leaflets to angling clubs and tackle shops across Northern Ireland and hope that our awareness campaign will encourage all anglers, young and old, to think about safety before they fish.”
Local angler Patrick Carson, former Captain of the Irish Fly Fishing Team, welcomed NIE’s campaign.
Patrick said: “All it takes is one lapse of concentration and you could put yourself at great risk. Any campaign to remind anglers to take note of their surroundings before piecing together their fishing rods and casting is to be welcomed. If your fishing line becomes entangled in overhead lines, drop your fishing rod immediately, keep others away and contact NIE on 08457 643 643.”
NIE also wants to encourage landowners who make fishing waters available to erect clear safety signs. These signs are available free of charge in limited numbers by contacting NIE Safety on 028 9066 1100. For more information on safety around electricity equipment check out www.nie.co.uk