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Angling safely

Anglers should wear suitable protective waterproof clothing whether fishing from shore or boat. Suitable and appropriate footwear should be worn at all times. When fly fishing, the angler should wear a protective set of sunglasses as eye protection and a hat. Midge repellent is essential for fishing on many of the small lakes & streams in the summer months.

Angling from a boat?

Please note the law requires that a suitable Personal Flotation Device must be worn in the following situations:


Some Irish inland waters are very large and become dangerous in high winds; they may have reefs or rocky shoals which can be hazardous even on a calm day. When intending to use a boat, anglers should notify someone about where they are fishing and what time they are due to return. It is essential to be familiar with such waters and their hazards before going afloat unaided; a ghillie or guide should be hired for the first few days of the trip.

Safety at Sea

It should be noted that all anglers going to sea in small boats must wear life jackets at all times. Anglers under 16 years of age must also wear life jackets at all times when on board licensed charter vessels. All other anglers on board a charter vessel must have access to a life jacket. It is the responsibility of every angler on a charter boat, to ask to see the current certification from the Dept of Transport and to view a copy of the vessels insurance policy before putting to sea.

Charter Boat Certification

It is strongly advised that you confirm with any operators you may wish to use that they fully comply with the safety regulations and standards layed down by the Maritime Safety Services. Furthermore, anglers, when commencing their charter trip, should ask to see relevant insurance and safety documentation which should be prominently displayed on board.

Angling Safety Checklist

Please review and be familiar with this angler safety checklist. We also recommend you download a copy of the more detailed Angler Safety Guidelines[pdf, 702KB].

Before you go


Tides & currents

Local knowledge

Have you got the right gear?

Who knows where you will be?

Tell someone where you are going, what time you will be back, what to do if you don’t turn up and who to contact.

While angling

Always go with someone

Watch the conditions

Managing the boat

If you are using a boat make sure that;

Stay sober

Many accidents on or near the water are caused by drinking alcohol. It will impair your judgment and reactions as well as speeding up heat loss.

In an emergency


Telephone 999 or 112 and ask for Coast Guard.


Call Coast Guard using VHF radio on channel 16.
If you have no VHF use a phone and dial 999 or 112.

Angling Safety Checklist [pdf, 512KB]

Angler Safety Guidelines[pdf, 702KB]