River anglers are being urged to stay safe and be aware of overhead power lines amid the return to the sport next week, Wednesday June 16.
The start of the new coarse fishing season traditionally sees anglers start early in the morning as it brings to and end a compulsory three month closure.
UK Power Networks is concerned these levels of anticipation could see anglers drop their guard when it comes to assessing any overhead risks when casting.
The number of incidents involving anglers and contact with electricity is low and averages at about one every two months not involving injury. It is three years since the last national fishing injury incident, but the company is anxious that complacency does not set in with the onset of summer.
Anglers, who use long carbon fibre fishing poles, are reminded to always “Look Out, Look Up” for overhead power lines before setting down to fish because of the dangers.
Debbie Chachulski, a safety advisor at UK Power Networks, said: “When anglers are focused on their sport, especially at such an exciting time with a new season starting, they may not remember to look out for electricity cables and this could prove fatal. There is a serious risk of serious burns or even death if a fishing line or rod comes into contact with an overhead power line so we urge all anglers to be aware of their environment they are in and look out for any safety signage.
“Our advice is never to fish near overhead lines and also when moving from one place to another always take rods apart when possible and carry them parallel to the ground.”
Jamie Cook, Angling Trust CEO, said: “With a new coarse river fishing season about to begin, we would remind anglers to take extra special care when near power lines. Thankfully, incidents involving anglers are low – let’s keep it that way by sticking to the safety signs and acting responsibly.”