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Wollongong City Council

Rock Fishing

Rock fishing has been labelled as one of the most dangerous sports in Australia, claiming the life of about eight people each year.

Regardless of your fishing abilities, the ocean can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable.

Before you begin rock fishing, please carefully consider the safety tips below.

Safety tips

  1. Regularly check weather and tide conditions
    Check before you leave home and continue to monitor conditions while you're fishing. See the Bureau of Meteorology for the latest updates on weather conditions.
  2. Identify the safest location to fish
    Consider weather conditions, tidal changes, wind and wave action and marine warnings. You should also consider a possible escape route in case you're swept into the water.

    See the Bureau of Meteorology website for more information on marine forecasts and warnings.
  3. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
    Rock platforms are often very slippery, so it is important to wear shoes with non-slip soles or cleats. Always wear lightweight clothing, so you are not weighed down if you're swept into the water.
  4. Always fish with others
    Rock fishing can be unpredictable. Never fish alone, and make sure you let others know where you will be going.
  5. Always wear a lifejacket
    If you are swept into the ocean, a lifejacket will help keep you afloat until assistance arrives. Most rock fishing fatalities occur when people are not wearing a lifejacket. See the Water Safety NSW page for help finding the right lifejacket for you.
  6. Carry a mobile phone, EPIRB or radio
    In the case of an emergency, it is important to have a readily available communication device to dial 000 or call for help.

If someone is swept into the water:

  • DO NOT jump in after them.
  • In the case of an emergency, call 000 immediately.
  • If there is a lifebuoy, angel ring or flotation device nearby, throw it to the person to help them keep afloat until assistance arrives.

As part of our ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of rock fishing, Council has installed two new multi-lingual danger signs at Hill 60 in Port Kembla. See our media release for details.


Fish safe off the rocks

Greg Finney's story