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18/07/2011: National Fishing Month safety competition

Electricity North West is encouraging young anglers to take part in a national safety competition.

The essential message of safe angling is being highlighted directly to young anglers as part of National Fishing Month with a competition to win a Nintendo DS Lite or an iPod Touch.

The competition is being run by Energy Networks Association, which represents the ‘wires and pipes’ electricity and gas network operators. It is warning anglers in the early years of enjoying their sport of the dangers of overhead power lines and how to avoid the risks.

Electricity North West owns and operates the power lines that connect 2.4m homes and businesses in the region to the grid.

Health, safety and environment manager at the company, Vinny Cranny, said: “Electricity lines are of course very dangerous, and generally people know that they should stay away. But fishing rods and lines are great conductors, and because they’re so big they can get close to electricity lines without you realising and cause serious injury or death.

“Electricity can also jump, so you don’t even need to make contact with the lines to get a shock. We want young people to be aware of the risks and enjoy their sport safely.”

Energy Networks Association Chief Executive David Smith said: “Thankfully the number of incidents had fallen to zero in 2008 but sadly, despite the efforts of energy networks and the angling community, another tragic incident occurred in 2009 with serious injuries. The few incidents that have occurred in the last ten years have all involved young anglers, often at unofficial sites.

“We are pleased to have been able to facilitate the revision of safety rules for some angling sites recently, but it is important to ensure the message of awareness is given to those starting out in the sport. The captive audience of National Fishing Month is a valuable opportunity to do this.”

By completing a picture challenge, 4-10 year olds could win a Nintendo DS Lite with a game and 11-16 year olds could win an 8GB Apple iPod Touch by completing a word search to reveal a safety message.

The competitions are being distributed by National Fishing Month event organisers and will run from 16 July to 18 September 2011. You can also enter online at http://2010.energynetworks.org/fishingcompetition.

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