Members of the Tomakin Fishing Club and the Tuross Head Fishing Club are now waiting for the go ahead to start phase one of the south coast installation campaign. 10 Angel Rings are to be installed in phase one with a further few dozen in phase two bringing the number to 30 over the next eighteen months. It is understood that Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes along with the Mayors for Shoalhaven and Bega will be formally approaching the Dept of Lands and National Parks to establish a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the placement and ongoing management of Angel Rings on land they control. ANSA NSW has run the angel ring project for more than 20 years installing more than 130 angel rings along the NSW coastline. ANSA reports 131 angel rings have saved 76 lives officially recorded in NSW to date while the unofficial number of times the rings have been used for rescues is known to be considerable. The angel rings are installed and maintained by volunteers from ANSA and volunteers like Tomakin's Adam Martin and Tuross Head resident Max Castle have committed hundreds of hours to lobbying, installing, maintaining and replacing the rings we have along our South Coast coastline There was an outcry last year by ANSA NSW members regarding the burdensome public liability and indemnity requirements of the DPI Crown Lands and National Parks and Wildlife Service before any new angel ring could be installed. Crown Lands wanted ANSA enter into a statewide licence agreement for installation of angel rings on Crown land. This agreement was to include an over-the-top public risk insurance policy to specifically cover the Crown lands at significant cost to the association. National Parks and Wildlife Service also jumped in requesting ANSA enter into a statewide consent agreement as well to indemnify NPWS for angel ring associated activities raising similar issues for ANSA with their current insurance cover. To press ahead with this more than worthy public safety project the red tape of bureaucracy and insurance burdens has to be loosened ad it is hoped the Letters from the Mayors will assist in the process
As reported on June 7th three Angel Rings will be located in the Eurobodalla at Durras Rocks, Bawley Point Fishing Platform and adjacent to Moruya Hospital. Max Castle, President of the Tuross Head Fishing Club and local representative of the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA) recently returned from Sydney with these new rings.
Above: Max Castle of the Tuross Head Fishing Club
In the coming weeks these will be distributed for installation.
This is just one of many things a proactive fishing club does for the public. The Angel Rings are provided from recreational fishers licence fees which are funded from the Saltwater Trust. The Angel Ring project is an ANSA initiative who have a network of members along the NSW coast. For further information/advice, videos, fact sheets, CALD information regarding rock fishing safety precautions visit www.safefishing.com.au/