Being keen fishermen ourselves, we were quite disturbed at the global statistics of fellow fishermen and women who had perished doing the sport they loved. This prompted us to research further into Rock Fishing which seemed to be the most dangerous area of the sport.
Youtube has a library full of horror stories, but one in particular caught our attention. A group of people were fishing from a 30m cliff in Hawaii with the absolute minimum of rod and reel. They had no safety measures in place at all, lack of fall restraint was the first shock in very windy conditions. One of the group hooked into a Giant Trevally (GT) and after a very long fight which must have been really uncomfortable with the rod in his groin, the fish landed on the rocks at the foot of the cliff. The others sent down a “sliding gaff” on a rope and secured the GT, the group of three then literally hung over the edge of the cliff to haul the fish up. On landing the massive GT, they celebrated with high-fives all round, but all we could think watching this was how lucky they were not to have had a disaster!
It was scary to watch as we examined the total lack of safety measures in place
Not a lifejacket in sight.
No safety ropes, despite there being several possible anchor points.
Not to mention, a Rod Gimbal would have made his job a lot more comfortable.
It is easy to see how the excitement of hooking into a big fish can affect a person’s judgement. We were sat in the garage and what started as a bit of banter saying how we might have handled the situation, we decided to investigate further.
The main result of our research led us to the question of why many fishermen refuse to wear a lifejacket.
THEY CAN BE A HINDERANCE.
“IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME”
I AM A GOOD SWIMMER.
IT’S TOO HOT FOR A LIFE JACKET.
The list is endless…THE GENERAL IMPRESSION WAS THAT THERE WERE NO PFD’S DESIGNED FOR FISHERMEN, so, we set about designing one!
We started with D-RING ATTACHMENTS and a GIMBAL and the whole concept snowballed from there. After many a long night in the garage with a large whiteboard for company we developed the framework for a lifejacket that anglers would find useful and actually WANT TO WEAR. We added further components that we thought we could benefit from through our own experiences. All the while we reflected on how we often had to carry our kit in both hands over rough terrain – a risky business in itself. We have all had a near miss at some point so we added the rod holder to give us “Hands-Free” capability.
Then we looked at the statistics again; a lot of the casualties actually had life jackets on but didn’t survive due to water ingestion. That’s where the Survival Hood comes in, it has saved countless lives in the Military and the Offshore Industry. It also keeps WIND CHILL off the head (a MASSIVE comfort), it is vented and has Hi-Visibility whether it is day or night. There is also a Water Activated Strobe Light, which, from experience, can be seen from miles away at night and is automatically operated when fully immersed in water.
The concept of the ROCKFISHER was born.