Very interesting. Pity it doesn’t give a breakdown of the various types of fishing. I know whitebaiting can result in fatalities particularly from being swept away at river mouths. Rock fishing is also very dangerous both from being washed away and from falls. The stats likely also include the loss of both commercial fishing boats and recreational craft. I have also witnessed some pretty horrible injuries from fish hooks over the years.
Though in almost every circumstance the fisherman has made a critical mistake like not wearing a life jacket, wading out to deep at river mouth, standing on a slippery, kelp covered-rock when a big wave washes them off.
Most accidents can be avoided but then there are times when theres nothing you could have done better except not gone at all.
People I’ve seen in the 20-odd years I’ve been white-baiting, don’t wear full-length waders (with the shoulder straps) but wear cut down gumboots from the freezing works.
Once these fill up with water, you are pretty much stuck where you are.
I pulled a 76 y/o guy out of the surf at the Orari mouth in 1988 and I am by no means a strong swimmer.
Let’s put it this way, you are using a net that gives resistance to the water, you are turning that into the current, it is only a matter of time before the sea is going to have it’s way with you.
You’d better be ready when it does.
If you can’t white-bait, stick to a rod.