Student invents device to help save lives of fishers swept from rocks

Updated December 01, 2018 14:05:24

It is considered one of the most dangerous sports in Australia, and yet more than 1 million people take part in rock fishing every year.

Isaac Heagney, who has a passion for fishing, spent his HSC year developing an invention that could help save the lives of rock fishers who end up in the water.

“Once it’s completely underwater, it sends a message and then the GPS’s coordinates are sent to a nominated phone number,” he said.

Isaac said he looked at existing products like the EPIRB, a mandatory safety item designed to be taken on board boats.

“But they’re just too big and bulky to take on the rocks, like having a bag, and you’ve got to manually set them off,” he said.

“I took the idea of an EPIRB and made it automated.

“So if you hit your head on the rocks, say when you fell in and you’re unconscious, it can still alert someone that you’re in danger.”

Photo: Isaac has won the national title of Rural Scientist of the Year. (Supplied: St Columba Anglican School)

The former St Columba Anglican School student from south of Port Macquarie on the NSW mid-north coast said he “took the GPS components, joined them together and came up with different coding ways to make it all work”.