Rock fishers and boaters who use the waters off the Wollongong coastline for recreation are being encouraged to attend two on-site information sessions in early December.
Wollongong City Council is organising the sessions in collaboration with NSW Police, Transport for NSW (Maritime) and Surf Life Saving Illawarra as a way to build surf and beach knowledge ahead of a potentially busy summer.
“We know the Illawarra coast can be a major drawcard for people when it comes to a whole range of recreation opportunities,” Wollongong City Council’s Director Community Services Kerry Hunt said.
“In recent times we have had a number of tragic boating and rock fishing incidents off our coast. These information sessions will help those who enjoy these pursuits to build their safety knowledge by learning from the experts from a number of key agencies.”
The sessions will be held on 10 and 11 December at two key locations – Hill 60 and Bellambi Boat Ramp. The details are:
Rock Fishing Safety. Friday 10 December, from 4.30pm. Bottom carpark at Hill 60, Port Kembla.
Boating Safety. Saturday 11 December, from 8am. Bellambi Boat Ramp.
“We will have a range of safety experts on hand to offer advice for safer rock fishing and boating,” Ms Hunt said.
“We felt that doing the sessions at the locations where people access to fish or put their boat into the water would be helpful as it provides the chance to get a better understanding of the real-life conditions they might go out in.
“We are all well-educated now in what you need to do to swim at the beach safely and that has come through a focussed effort from a number of key agencies. Swimmers know to follow water conditions advice from Council lifeguards and Surf Life Saving volunteers and to swim between the red and yellow flags. It’s hoped that this initiative will provide rock fishers and boaters the opportunity to increase their knowledge and improve their safety.
For those who are unable to attend, Council’s website has a range of information on rock fishing, and Transport for NSW (Maritime) has boating tips on its website.