Friday, 20 January 2012

Angler killed in Trent tragedy named

A pike angler who died of hypothermia after his boat overturned in a weirpool was named today, along with the friend who was also plucked from the water by rescuers and survived.

Ian Steel and his companion Neville Payne were fishing at Collingham Weir, on the Trent, when their folding craft was sucked into the weirstream and overturned.

Both men were pulled from the river, but Mr Steel, 57 later died in hospital. Mr Payne is still being treated for the effects of hypothermia, local paper the Newark Advertiser reports.

"Collingham Angling Association, which controls angling on that stretch of river, has called for a barrier to be installed to prevent fishing boats getting too close to the weir," the paper says.

"British Waterways said it was reviewing safety at the weir, and would discuss the matter with the association and the fire service. It said it would consider extra warning signs and other measures."

Firefighters said the men had been in the water for up to 20 minutes when they arrived at the scene, after the alarm was raised by a lock keeper. Click here for the full report.

The PAC is urging all anglers to make safety their number one priority when going afloat.

"This tragedy underlines how dangerous being out on the water can be, no matter how experienced an angler you are," a spokesman said.

The death is the latest in a string of fatal accidents involving pike anglers. In March 2009, four men drowned after getting into difficulty on Scotland's Loch Awe.

The PAC is urging all anglers to wear lifejackets and ensure that their craft is capable of coping with weather and water conditions they are likely to encounter.

"All too often, we hear of people going out who are ill-equipped, in boats which are not up to the job," a spokesman said.

"Anyone going afloat this time of year should bear in mind that while a life jacket may keep you afloat, cold water can cause shock and the onset of hypothermia within minutes.

"Our thoughts and those of the angling community are with those involved, their families and friends at this time."

Click here to download a fact sheet about boat safety.

PAC in Keeping Loch Lomond documentary

Pike fishing is included in a new TV documentary about Loch Lomond being broadcast next week.

PAC Secretary Graham Slater (left) was interviewed on the loch shore by film makers shooting Keeping Loch Lomond - a half-hour programme about the wide range of people who use the iconic Scottish water.

The programme is being broadcast on BBC2 on Thursday morning (5am, January 26) and will also be available online afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

Programme notes say: "Jonathan Sutherland visits Loch Lomond to find out how the National Park Authority gets on with campers, hydro power developers, seaplane pilots and even gold miners. He looks at the ongoing delicate balancing act between development and conservation."

Graham flies the flag for pike anglers - many of whom were affected by a ban on camping on parts of the loch shore. As well as campers, who have been blamed for anti-social behaviour and litter along the banks, the ban includes anglers wishing to bivvy up by the water.

Programme information will also be available here on the BBC Scotland website.