Approximately 20 anglers in the UK drown each year. Lifesavers, The Royal Life Saving Society UK, the country’s leading water safety body, has issued advice to anglers who continue to fish throughout autumn and winter.

Di Standley, Chief Executive at Lifesavers, a West Midlands-based organisation, commented:

"There are risks to anglers year-round, but in late autumn and winter they increase. I urge anglers to take extra safety precautions during this time."

Risks to anglers

When falling into cold water the distress of an extreme temperature can lead to cold shock, which can cause heart attacks, strokes and death.

In wet weather there is a higher chance of slipping down muddy banks into the water.

As water levels rise, currents become faster, making it more difficult to make an escape onto dry land.

Higher water levels also mean that banks can be washed away.

Tips for anglers

Whether you are fishing from a bank or a boat, wear a life jacket. Anglers life jackets are specially designed to go over anglers coats. They usually cost less than £50 and, if you fall into the water they will keep you afloat until you can be rescued.

Fish with a friend - keep an eye on each other.

Let someone else know where you are going and when you will return so that if necessary the alarm can be raised.

Check the weather forecast before you go so that you can be prepared. It is also worth checking the weather forecast upstream. If there has been a torrential downpour upriver, it will have an affect on water levels.

Take a mobile phone. If someone else is in trouble call the emergency services.

If you witness an accident never enter the water yourself. You can attempt a land-based rescue using whatever is at hand – your fishing rod or landing net can be ideal implements to tow someone to the side.

For more tips on water safety, angling groups can contact Lifesavers for details on the charity’s free ‘Safe Anglers - Safe Banks’ programme. Call 01789 774500, or visit


Lifesavers, The Royal Life Saving Society UK, is a national charity and the governing body for lifesaving and lifeguarding in the UK. Each year, over 250,000 people take Lifesavers awards in water safety, rescue techniques and life support, including 95 per cent of all pool and beach lifeguards.

For further information, please contact Nikki Newall at The Bridge Group on tel: 02476 217 398 or