Rock fishing safety

Rock fishing is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, but it’s also risky. And tragically, several people drown each year after being swept off rocks.

To help ensure every rock fisher returns home safely to family and friends, you must wear a life jacket when fishing at 10 high-risk zones along the Victorian coast.

A two-year trial of a lifejacket mandate is complete, however the rules remain in place to keep fishers safe.

This includes new zones, extended zones and four existing sites. Click here for maps and more information.

Click here or keep reading to view more information about the 10 zones where lifejackets must be worn, including maps.

Be safe when rock fishing

Whether you’re an experienced rock fisher or a beginner, there are 4 simple steps for safe rock fishing:

  1. Prepare before you go
  2. Observe when you arrive
  3. Stay Alert when fishing
  4. And always wear a lifejacket.

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 zones

Click here for in-language maps in Chinese, Vietnamese, Dari, Farsi and Pashto

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.

Which lifejacket is best for rock fishing?

A wide range of reasonably priced and comfortable lifejackets are available at retail stores.

Click here for more information on rock fishing lifejackets

What should I do if someone falls in?

Don’t jump in if someone is washed in.

It is important to know what to do if you or someone else is washed into the ocean.

  1. Don't panic - stay calm and swim away from the rocks.
  2. Do not jump in if someone is washed into the water, instead,
  3. Throw a rope or something that floats, including a life ring if it is available, to the person then,
  4. Dial 000 or 112 on your mobile phone or go to find other people to help.

The best thing you can do to help someone who has fallen in is to call 000. Don’t jump into the water and avoid going close to the edge to help. It’s important that you don’t end up in the water with them.

If the person is wearing a lifejacket, they should be OK. They should be able to swim away from the edge and wait for help to arrive or find a safe place to get out.

Click here for more information about staying safe while rock fishing, including links to PDF booklets in several languages.