Simple ring can be a lifesaver

SAVE LIVES: Angel Ring at the Ballina breakwall.
SAVE LIVES: Angel Ring at the Ballina breakwall. Patrick Gorbunovs

ANGEL rings have saved the lives of three swimmers at Ballina since 2012 and the recent rollout of seven more of the floatation aids has bolstered the safety at Northern Rivers beaches and headlands.

Launched in 2001, the Angel Ring project was designed to improve angler safety at fishing black spots along the NSW coast.

Funded by the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust and run by the NSW branch of the Australian National Sportsfishing Association ANSA, the project has seen 130 Angel Rings installed along the NSW Coast.

Angel Ring ANSA co-ordinator Stan Konstantaras said the latest rollout of Angel Rings had boosted safety around break walls at Yamba, Iluka and Evans Head, and around Cape Byron.

"We are finding that snorklers, swimmers, anglers and relatively inexperienced surfers are getting into trouble and we know the currents that rip out of those estuary mouths come through with incredible force and you are a long way out to sea before you know it," he said.

Angel Rings have saved 57 lives in NSW, helped identify coastal black spots and raised community awareness of the present dangers.

"We haven't had many fatalities on the North Coast but that's not a reason why we shouldn't be putting Angel Rings around popular spots," Mr Konstantaras said.

Liaising with local fishermen and tackle stores was essential for accurately locating the Angel Rings, Mr Konstantaras said.

"We have plans for Angel Rings on break walls at Brunswick Heads, the lifesavers want us to look at Tweed Heads and we are working with anglers around Evans Head."

Mr Konstantaras called on anglers and beachgoers to monitor Angel Rings and report any missing or damaged devices. For safe fishing advice or to report missing or damaged Angel Rings visit


Angel Ring locations

Yamba break wall (south)

Iluka break wall (north)

Evans Head break wall (north and south)

Ballina break wall (north and south)

Iron Peg Skennars Head

Broken Head

Kings Beach

Cape Byron

Topics:  lifesavers

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