Rock fishing safety

Rock Fishing

Rock fishing is popular in Australia, thanks to our beautiful beaches and scenic coastline. However, it can be a dangerous sport if you're not well prepared.

On average, 8 people per year die whilst rock fishing. We want to change that.

The safety tips below are simple, but can make all the difference when you're next out rock fishing.

We have also published a rock fishing guide for further information.

New laws are coming into place

A two-year trial of new laws that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations will commence on 1 March 2022.

Lifejackets save lives and will help prevent further rock fishing deaths in Victoria.

Click here for general information on the two-year trial in English.

Information is also available in several other languages:

Where are the 10 high-risk sites?

The 10 sites are located across central and western Victoria. Anyone fishing at these sites will be required to wear a lifejacket from 1 March 2022:

  1. Rock platform near blowholes carpark at Cape Bridgewater
  2. Artillery Rocks, west of Lorne
  3. The rock platform opposite Sheoak Falls, south of Lorne
  4. Sorrento Back Beach rocks
  5. No. 16 beach at Rye back beach
  6. Cape Schanck lighthouse rocks
  7. Bushrangers Bay rocks, east of Cape Schanck
  8. Pyramid Rocks, Phillip Island.
  9. Rocks at the southern end of Potters Hill Road, San Remo
  10. Punchbowl Rocks near San Remo

Click here for maps of the 10 high-risk locations

Fines apply if you don’t wear a lifejacket at these sites.

However, no matter where you are, always wear a lifejacket when rock fishing.

And follow these simple steps to ensure a safe fishing trip.

Use the right gear

  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Wear shoes with non-slip soles
  • Wear light clothing
  • Carry a mobile phone, rope and float with you

Always have back up

  • Never fish alone – always fish with a group a friends
  • Tell someone where you are and when you will be back
  • If your plans change, let someone know

Know the conditions

  • Know the tide and weather by checking the Bureau of Meteorology website before going fishing
  • Watch the water before going fishing to work out the current conditions you're facing
  • Ask locals for advice on fishing certain areas
  • If conditions worsen, find a calmer sheltered spot – or go home
  • Plan an escape route in case you are washed in
  • Never turn your back on the sea


  • If you're swept in, don't panic - stay calm and swim away from the rocks
  • Do not jump in if someone is washed into the water
  • Dial 000 or 112 on your mobile phone or go get help
  • Use a rope or something that floats to rescue the person
  • If there's an angel ring (life ring, life buoy) nearby, know how to use it.

You can also click here to download a PDF factsheet.

In-language fact sheets are also available in:

Further safety information about rock fishing

Life Saving Victoria

Maritime Safety Victoria

Safe fishing

Weather information

Rock fishing safety information for multicultural communities