Experienced and novice anglers alike are being warned to ‘Look Out, Look Up’ for overhead power lines, as National Fishing Month gets underway from July 22 to August 29.
But as people head for the lakes, rivers and canals with their eyes cast downward to study the water, UK Power Networks, is urging them to take extra care and look up instead.
It can be extremely dangerous for any equipment to come in to contact with overhead power lines and the electricity company runs more than 65,000 km of overhead power lines across the South East and East of England.
Safety expert Ros Forbes at UK Power Networks said: “It’s understandable that anglers are focused on their sport, but we know they increasingly use long carbon fibre fishing poles which could come into contact with cables, so we’re reminding them to “Look Out, Look Up” before settling down to fish.
“Very simply, be aware of the environment you are in. Don’t fish near overhead fishing lines, because you’re putting yourself at risk of serious burns, even death, if your kit comes into contact with an overhead line. Plus 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.”
Anglers can request a tackle box sticker and download a ‘Think Before you Cast your line’ leaflet at www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/internet/en/safety/.
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 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.