The region’s electricity distributor, Northern Powergrid, has launched a digital safety campaign urging anglers to stay away from power lines to prevent their next catch from being deadly.
The campaign, which coincides with National Fishing Month (21 July – 3 September), will provide life-saving advice and encourage anglers to be aware and look around for overhead electricity lines so they can stay safe when fishing.
Northern Powergrid, the company which keeps the lights on for 8 million customers across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is using social media to reach out to the growing number of anglers who use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share pictures of their latest catch.
Fishing rods and poles made from carbon fibre and similar materials will conduct electricity, with many other materials also allowing electricity to flow along them when wet. At higher voltages electricity may jump short distances through the air. This means that angling equipment does not even have to touch an overhead power line for anyone holding it to suffer an electric shock and burns that could result in death.
Geoff Earl, Northern Powergrid’s Director of Safety Health and Environment, said: National Fishing Month provides us with a great opportunity to reach out to anglers and help ensure they stay safe whilst they enjoy their hobby. We also want those who may be trying it for the first time, as a result of National Fishing Month, to be aware of the dangers and get off to the best possible start by learning to fish smart from day one.
“It’s crucial that anglers always check their surroundings for overhead lines and only unpack and set up at the water’s edge once they’re sure it’s safe to do so. They should also pack up their rod at the water’s edge and never walk with it.”
Naidre Werner, Project Manager, National Fishing Month, said: “National Fishing Month is all about encouraging everyone to have a go at fishing, no matter what their age or previous experience. However it’s vitally important that anglers, new or old, remember to fish safely. Northern Powergrid’s campaign is an important reminder to everyone taking part in the sport to ensure they are always aware of their surroundings and stay away from overhead power lines.”
A copy of Northern Powergrid’s easy-to-read Angling Safety Guide is available to download at northernpowergrid.com
If anglers do find themselves in an emergency situation:
- do not attempt to move the fishing equipment or person if either is still in contact with, or close to, the overhead power line
- electricity lines may stay live after contact or maybe re-energised automatically or remotely without warning
- prevent third parties from entering the incident area
- maintain at least a five- metre clearance
- call Northern Powergrid using 105, the free and easy to remember power cut number.
- contact the Emergency Services through 999 and request an ambulance, if required