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.

High-risk rock fishing sites

Rules remain in place that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations.

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

Click here for information about compliant lifejackets and maps of the high-risk zones.

Where are the 10 high-risk zones?

The 10 zones are located along Victoria’s coast from the south-west to south Gippsland. Anyone fishing at these sites is required to wear a lifejacket:

  1. Rock platform near blowholes carpark at Cape Bridgewater
  2. Artillery Rocks, west of Lorne
  3. Jump Rock, near Lorne
  4. The rock platform opposite Sheoak Falls, south of Lorne
  5. All rock platforms between Point Nepean and West Head, near Cape Schanck
  6. Pyramid Rocks, Phillip Island.
  7. Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island
  8. Cowries Rock, Phillip Island
  9. Sunderland Bay, Phillip Island
  10. All rock platforms between Bore Beach (San Remo) and Kilcunda

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