With the coarse fishing season starting next week, anglers are being warned to take extra care near power lines.
As fishing enthusiasts head for the lakes, rivers and canals to enjoy the start of the coarse fishing season from Friday (June 16), UK Power Networks, which owns and operates power lines across the South East, London and East of England, is reminding them of some pitfalls to watch out for.
Anglers are using increasingly long modern carbon fibre fishing poles, so are reminded to always “Look Out, Look Up” for overhead power lines before settling down to fish.
They are advised to keep away from overhead lines as it is extremely dangerous for any equipment to come into contact with overhead power lines.
Ros Forbes, UK Power Networks’ safety and education adviser, said: “When anglers are focused on their sport, they may not remember to look out for electricity cables but they are at risk of serious burns, or even death, if either their fishing rod or line comes into contact with an overhead line.
“Our message is always ‘look out and look up’. Very simply, be aware of the environment you are in. Don’t fish near overhead fishing lines, remember electricity can jump across gaps – just like lightning – and it can kill you.
“We also advise anglers to take their rods apart before moving from one place to another and to carry them parallel to the ground.”
The company provides fishing clubs with “Look Out, Look Up” safety signs. Its health and safety team will also walk the route of a waterway with organisations to identify potential dangers posed by overhead lines and erect new safety signs.
The team also gives regular demonstrations at events, such as county shows, to spread the safety message.
UK Power Networks has published detailed guidance for anglers on how to stay safe near overhead power lines, in the form of downloadable leaflets on its website www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk.