As angling is a water based activity, anglers often have to deal with changing conditions and hidden dangers.  Inland Fisheries Ireland is reminding anglers to exercise great care for their own safety and that of angling partners. While wearing a life jacket on a boat is mandatory Inland Fisheries Ireland would advise anglers to wear one when on or near water. Anglers are asked to follow some simple safety tips when going fishing:

  • Wear a life jacket
  • Follow advice on warning signs,permits and notices
  • Don’t take any risks when wading or fishing from boat, shore or bank
  • Check the weather forecast and tide tables before you go
  • Take time to observe weather, water and tide conditions while fishing
  • Fish with a partner/buddy or let someone know where you’re going
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case/bag
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear

Fishing afloat? Before you go….

1. Weather

High winds combined with waves can swamp a boat or carry you off the shore.Angling Safety Checklist photo
Poor visibility can mean you might not find your way back.
Check the weather forecast before you go and if bad weather is forecast, consider postponing your fishing trip. (

2. Tides and Currents

Strong tides and currents can carry you away very quickly.
Rising tides or water levels can cut you off from shore.
Check which way the tide or current is flowing and what time the tide is in or out.

3. Local knowledge

If you don’t know the area, ask someone who does where the safe and often the best places to fish are located. While you are doing so remember to ask about local currents and tides and any local dangers.

4. Have you got the right gear?

Bring the right gear with you including Personal Flotation Devices (lifejacket or buoy), even if you are fishing from shore.

Also consider if you have enough warm waterproof clothes, boots, sun protection, and of course all of your angling gear.

A marine VHF radio or mobile phone will allow you to call for help if you need it.

5. 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.

6. Always go with someone.

If you get into trouble there will be someone there to help you or call for help.

7. Watch the conditions

Weather, daylight, water levels and currents can change quickly. Watch what is happening around you to avoid getting caught out.

8. Managing the boatSafety on the water banner

If you are using a boat make sure that

  • you have enough fuel,
  • the boat is not overloaded
  • if anyone feels seasick, it is best to come ashore immediately
  • always wear a Personal Flotation Device when on deck.

9. 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.

More information

Inland Fisheries Ireland has a detailed guide to safety at You can also download a free copy of the information leaflet Safety on the Water – Angling Safety Checklist at  and more detailed publication Safety on the Water – Angling Safety Guidelines at .