Quiet first day brings few dramas

Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group and the Wesfarmers emergency response team outside the lagoon.
Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group and the Wesfarmers emergency response team outside the lagoon.

Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club president John Heesters said the turnout was low, despite a low tide and fine weather on November 3.

‘We’ve got a perfect day for it ” this is a very low turnout for such a good day,’ he said.

Mr Heesters said the safety messages about appropriate clothing appeared to have been taken on board.

‘There was only a handful of people in jeans ” mostly they were in shorts,’ he said.

‘People across the board seem to be a little bit more adequately dressed.’

Mr Heesters said his team of seven volunteer lifesavers, helped by two volunteers from the Wesfarmers’ emergency response team, had done about 35 preventions during the one-hour fishing session, but no rescues were required.

The lifesavers were supported by three members from Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group on the boat Sea Guardian II, and the Surf Life Saving WA helicopter, which patrolled the metropolitan coastline.

A Department of Fisheries spokesman said officers issued 21 infringements in the northern suburbs, between Trigg Island and Two Rocks.

He said 16 of the infringements were for exceeding the bag limit, three for fishing outside the 7am to 8am fishing period, one for taking undersized abalone and one for someone not having a licence.

Officers also gave 23 warnings for exceeding bag limits and 21 for taking undersized abalone.

‘The anecdotal feedback from the officers was that the number of fishers collecting abalone on Sunday morning (7am to 8am only) appeared to be down on past opening days, despite the relatively good weather and sea conditions,’ the spokesman said. ‘There was some concern over the number of excess bag limit and undersize offences detected.’

There will be four more one-hour fishing sessions this season, with the next on December 1.

For more information on abalone fishing regulations and advice, visit www.fish.wa.gov.au.