The RNLI is urging shore anglers to wear lifejackets which could buy them vital time should they end up in the water unexpectedly. In the past four years, 29 anglers were rescued from rocks in Ireland, and lifeboats launched 43 times to shore-angling callouts.
Irish angler Colm Plunkett is one of those who chose to wear his lifejacket – a decision which ultimately saved his life after he was swept from rocks while fishing at Dursey Sound on the Beara Peninsula in west Cork in August.
“I was fishing when a rogue wave washed me into the sea. I spent the next 55 minutes fighting for my life. Fortunately I was with my 16-year-old daughter, who immediately called the Coast Guard. Upon entering the water my lifejacket automatically inflated and kept me on the surface.
"For the first 15 minutes I was swept out to sea. Much to my relief the current then pushed me back towards land and calmer waters. Oncoming hypothermia prevented me from reaching the shore but after 10 minutes the inshore boat from Derrynane, Co Kerry, rescued me.
“I was taken to hospital with a life-threatening low temperature and for further treatment. I am here today because I wore a lifejacket. If you are not wearing a lifejacket you are as good as dead.”
Research conducted by the RNLI showed only 10 per cent of shore anglers wear lifejackets – yet a review panel found that 81 per cent of fatalities between 2007 and 2013 could have been prevented had the casualties been wearing lifejackets. The campaign forms part of the RNLI's work to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024. See rnli.org/angling.
Irish Fly Fair
Some of the world's top fly- dressers and casting instructors were on hand to demonstrate and advise at the two-day Irish Fly Fair at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill last weekend. Celebrities included Charles Jardine, Hywel Morgan, Glenda Powell and spey-casting legends Scott McKenzie, Gary Scott, Bas de Bruin and Sepp Fuchs.
On Saturday, my attention focused on the youth fly- dressing competition. Under supervision from top fly dressers Peter O'Reilly and Arthur Greenwood, juniors were required to tie a red-tag pattern consisting of red yarn tail, peacock herl and brown hen hackle (trimmed).
This created fantastic interest among the under-16s and many versions emerged, all perfectly capable of catching fish. However, the adjudged winner was Fergal Collery, closely followed by Darren Keeler and Ciaran Flaherty.
At a recent sitting of Fermoy District Court, Judge Brian Sheridan prosecuted three men who pleaded guilty to a number of offences following an incident that occurred on the Aherlow river near Anglesborough, Co Limerick, in November 2014.
Fisheries officers were undertaking a night patrol of the Aherlow during the salmon spawning season. An incident developed that resulted in one officer being assaulted and struck with a handle of a shovel. Other officers were subjected to threats of violence and abusive language.
The judge imposed fines on the three men totalling €3,140 with one man sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years on the defendant signing a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the period.
Inland Fisheries chief executive Ciaran Byrne, said: "This is not just about the fish: it is about protecting over 3,000 jobs that rely on our endangered salmon stocks and also ensuring the safety of staff who work to protect this valuable natural resource for the benefit of rural communities throughout Ireland."
Trout league heat
Results of second winter league heat at Annamoe Trout Fisheries, Co Wicklow: 1, P McDonnell, 6 fish, 252cm; 2, C Ryan, 5f, 217cm; 3, S Kapustest, 5f, 216cm. A total of 45 rainbows were landed and returned by 15 anglers. Final heat is Saturday 28th November and grand final Saturday, 12th December. Entries to Brian Nally at 086-259 8563.
Although reduced to a one-day event, the recent annual fly- fishing competition on Knockaderry reservoir in Kilmeaden, Co Waterford, was a great success with 44 trout landed, the longest of which measured 64cm, caught by Kevin Lafford.
Results: 1, B Healy, 7 fish; 2, P Owens, 5f, 3, M Twohig, 4f.