Safety Angles For All Anglers

June 27, 1968

The Red Cross has some special angles for fishermen.

“Fishing can lead to a variety of accidents if the right precautions are not taken,” Martin C. McMahon, volunteer first aid chairman, Baltimore Regional Red Cross, said, “and our objective is to reduce this accident rate by training and information.”

“When the fish aren’t biting,” says Red Cross, “or you forget to bring along your lunch or favorite rod, don’t lose your temper, get your blood pressure up, and maybe suffer a stroke. It’s much better to remain calm, enjoy yourself — and life to fish another day.”

To help prevent drownings and other accidents among fishermen, Mr. McMahon offered the following tips:

All fishermen — experts and novices alike — should know how to swim, know basic first aid, and have a first aid kit with them.

Listen to weather forecasts so you can dress properly.

Since fish hooks sometimes “catch” anglers as well as fish, carry needlenose pliers, wire cutters and a pocket knife in your tackle box. Always keep fish hooks in covered containers.

In casting make certain you have room to do so without hooking someone else. Use an overhead cast when in a boat with others, and always look before casting.

When fishing in water where there are swimmers, water skiers, and skin and scuba divers, be careful to keep your fish lines in open areas.

Wear thick-soled boots or hiking shoes in densely wooded or marshy areas but do not wear waders while in a boat. Barefoot fishermen sometimes step on broken glass, nails and other debris resulting in serious injuries.

Learn how to hold a fish properly while extracting a hook. Many species have sharp teeth or fins that can cause deep hand wounds.

If you snag yourself deeply with a hook, cut off the line, bandage the wound, and head for the nearest doctor or hospital. Don’t risk further injury by trying to remove a deeply-embedded hook.

In snake-infested country, watch where you step, what you touch, and where you sit. Wear high boots because half of all snake bites are below mid-calf.

When fishing in channels or rivers, never tie your boat to channel buoys. It is illegal. These are traffic lane markers and must be kept clear at all times.

Never stand up in a boat or canoe when fishing, and be sure to have a life preserver on board for every passenger.

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