Lifesaving patrols protect abalone fishers in Yanchep

SURF lifesavers were out in force at Yanchep Lagoon for the first abalone fishing day of the season last Sunday.

Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club president John Heesters said 16 volunteers turned up for the abalone patrol on November 1, the highest they’ve ever had, but the number of fishers was lower than normal.

“We had low numbers on the reef – 58,” he said.

Mr Heesters said the lifesavers spoke to more than half the fishers on the day, doing 30 preventions and three mild rescues.

He said one was a woman who twisted her knee while on the reef and had to be brought back to shore on a board.

“Conditions were pretty good,” he said.

Mr Heesters said the club had its first patrol of the season following the one-hour abalone fishing period, with no incidents reported from 8am to noon.

He said member numbers were slowly growing and he hoped within a couple of years there would be enough bronze level members to add a Sunday afternoon patrol as well.

“Maybe a year or two after that we can start on Saturdays – that’s purely dictated by numbers,” he said.

The City of Wanneroo is expected to advertise for tenders later this year to build a surf club and public amenities building overlooking the lagoon.

Mr Heesters said the City had told the club the tilt-panel building should be completed in time for the start of the 2016-17 season next November.