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Sail-World.com : Safety first or fish first, which is your priority?
Safety first or fish first, which is your priority?


'Have you got your lights on when fishing at night ?'    Jarrod Day
It is a shame to think that there are a select few anglers out there that still put catching fish before theirs and others safety.

It is a concerning fact, but having launched last Sunday morning at 5am to help out my good friend and charter operator Simon Rinaldi from Red Hot Fishing Charters that some anglers continue to put themselves and others in danger by NOT having their navigational and or anchor lights on when fishing in the dark.

We were motoring out of the Patterson River complex with a group of clients on board which were all keen as mustard to catch their first snapper for the season. While it was still pitch black, we headed out only to notice that the boat in front of us had failed to turn on his nav lights nor did he have any cockpit lights on making it very difficult to see him against the glowing lights of those already at anchor further out in the Bay.

As he headed off in another direction to us, the possibility of having an accident with another craft was very high considering he was a smaller boat and amongst the half meter waves, other boats would also had difficulty in seeing him.

Further on towards our destination, we spotted another boat without any nav lights on. Sure he was under anchor and had an anchor light on, but without nav lights makes it difficult to see.
What’s more is that when we finally arrived to the location we wanted to fish, a third boat was under anchor with his nav lights on and no anchor light.

Just what is this world coming too I wonder. Is a fish worth the lives of many? We are just into the start of the season and with the snapper bite being on first light, hundreds if not thousands of anglers are on the water around 5am, before the run rises. Do we have to fear for our safety when heading out?

I have no explanation as to why people choose to be so careless when it comes to this. While some think that if they are seen that others will anchor next to them, but so what! I think I would rather a boat anchoring near me than having it crash into me.

I only hope that these mindless fools take a serious look at the risks they are taking and start to become more responsible when on the water.

At the end of the day I think there are only two solutions to this matter; firstly to have the police on the water at these times of the morning doing checks and to catch out these so called 'rebels'. While secondly, maybe it is time that getting your boating license became a little more difficult than just a simple Q and A sheet. How’s about an on the water practical? This is done when you get your car license so why not with a boat as well. Just think about it, those that have done a boating prac might learn to launch and retrieve correctly rather than having to attempt it solo as well as leaning the correct manner in which to drive and give way amongst other boating practices.

The water is no different to a road when it comes to busy times, especially snapper season in Victoria. Personally, I think it is about time boating laws got a little tougher before someone gets seriously injured or killed due to recklessness.


by Jarrod Day, FishingBoating-World Editor

  

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10:21 AM Wed 20 Nov 2013GMT


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