Henry Gilbey
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If you go shore fishing in north Cornwall you can now hire a lifejacket for the measly sum of £5 a day

I think this is the most incredibly impressive gestures towards anglers that I have heard about for a while now. We have already got the RNLI trying to do all they can to ensure that us anglers (who let’s be honest tend to mistakenly think we know more about the sea and its dangers than other people) can go about our fishing as safely as possible, and now we’ve also got a place in North Cornwall where you can drop into and hire a lifejacket. If there was ever a more complete no-brainer then I am not aware of it……………

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And it’s an ever interesting parallel for me and the emails and messages I often get from anglers, indeed I had one just a couple of days ago from a guy who will be on holiday around the Trevose Head area with his family in August and was asking me for a bit of fishing help. What is my first thought these days? Has this person ever experienced shore fishing in areas where you are more than likely to have proper swells? I got back to him and tried to help a bit with some general areas and thoughts, and I also urged him to buy and wear a lifejacket. I can’t make him though and I probably came across as some kind of health and safety fanatic when I am so not - but now there’s the simple and cheap option to hire a fully serviced lifejacket. You could even simply hire one to see what it feels like to wear one for your shore fishing before actually buying one for yourself. All the details are below:

RNLI offers lifejacket hire in North Cornwall

“The RNLI has teamed up with a local business to offer a new lifejacket hire service for anglers. This partnership is part of an exciting new trial that aims to encourage anglers to wear this essential piece of lifesaving equipment that could make the difference between life and death. The service will operate out of Rock Marine Services based in Rock, North Cornwall, with anglers now able to hire a lifejacket for just £5 a day.

The pilot scheme has been implemented by RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Tom Mansell and Community Safety Officer David Webster. The pair were touched by the tragic death of brothers Charles and Robert Allen, who drowned while rock angling at Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall in 2017.

Tom said: ‘Research has proved that wearing a lifejacket can increase your chances of survival by up to four times when you’re immersed in cold water. After the tragic loss of Charles and Robert, I was determined that we do more to encourage anglers to wear well-fitted, well-maintained lifejackets that could ultimately save their lives.

‘Our aim is to make wearing a lifejacket as accessible as possible by providing a lifejacket hire scheme. We want to remove any barriers, or perceived barriers, to wearing one. For example, an angler who only fishes once a year might be put off investing in a £100 lifejacket because it would sit in the garage for 12 months. Hiring a lifejacket is a cost-effective alternative.

‘It could be an option for an angler who has remembered their means of calling for help but forgotten their lifejacket, or the angler who has heard all the information about wearing one, but is yet to be convinced. The scheme gives anglers the chance to try out wearing a lifejacket before purchasing one.’

The scheme is a trial but if proved successful is likely to be rolled out across other parts of the south west. John Crowdie of Rock Marine Services and Deputy Launching Authority said: “Rock Marine Services is really proud to be partnering with the RNLI at the forefront of this initiative. The number of fatalities of anglers who could have had a chance if only they were wearing a lifejacket is too high. Rather than these tragic incidents we want to hear stories of those people whose lives were saved because they were wearing a lifejacket. For Rock Marine to play our part in making the choice to wear a lifejacket that much easier, is a very exciting step forward.”

For more information on how to choose a lifejacket visit www.rnli.org/safety/lifejackets

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