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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Surfer entangled in fishing line

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NSW Police Marine Area Command is appealing for information after a surfer was injured when he became entangled in heavy, illegally set fishing line in a north coast marine park.

On Sunday, a surfer was at Diggers Headland, near Coffs Harbour, when he became entangled in a heavy fishing line set from the rocks.

He sustained injuries and was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics.

The line, which was made of heavy monofilament (of at least 100kg breaking strain) and had numerous hooks attached, was similar to a setline that can be lawfully used in deep offshore waters by commercial fishers.

But Fisheries NSW regulations prohibit the use of setlines for recreational fishers. The incident also occurred within the Solitary Islands Marine Park where unattended lines are banned.

Investigators believe a man used a radio-controlled boat or a Seahorse Electric Kontiki to set the line from the southern end of Diggers Beach on Saturday afternoon.

Police would like to speak to the person who set the line or anyone who may have witnessed the incident.

Marine Area Command crime manager, Detective Inspector Darren Schott, said the incident could have had a more serious outcome under different circumstances.

‘It’s lucky that the surfer wasn’t more seriously injured.

‘If it had been a young child, he or she could have drowned,’ Detective Inspector Schott said.

Anyone who has information about this incident is urged to call Coffs Harbour Water Police on 6651 4981 or the Coffs Harbour Fisheries Office on 02 6652 3977.

 


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