Young angler prevented from fishing in life-threatening flood waters

A teenager was found fishing in these choppy life-threatening flood waters at Whittlesey Dyke by volunteer bailiff Tony Jakes. 

A teenager was found fishing in these choppy life-threatening flood waters at Whittlesey Dyke by volunteer bailiff Tony Jakes. - Credit: Angling Trust 

A teenage angler was saved from a potentially life-threatening situation after he was found fishing in “treacherous conditions” in a remote Fenland drain. 

Angling Trust volunteer bailiff Tony Jakes found the young fisherman on his own at Whittlesey Dyke, Burnt House Bridge near Peterborough.  

Mr Jakes, who joined the volunteer bailiff service in 2019, approached the novice angler and explained the dangers of fishing the flooded drains. 

After pointing out the dangers from powerful currents and hazardous footing, Tony was able to persuade the boy to pack away his tackle and call home to arrange a lift. 

Paul Thomas, Angling Trust regional enforcement manager for the East of England, said: “We could have been looking at a very different outcome had it not been for the timely intervention by our volunteer bailiff. 


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“The drains across Fenland offer excellent angling opportunities throughout the year but they are often isolated with steep banks that can be difficult to negotiate and certainly no place for an inexperienced youngster to be out fishing alone in winter floodwater conditions.   

“With the volume of rain and snow we’ve had recently the drain was like a raging torrent . 

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“Tony and the other members of the East Anglia voluntary bailiff team have shown extraordinary dedication to their role as eyes and ears on their local waterways, primarily on the lookout for suspected illegal fishing in support of the Environment Agency and police.  

“It is this level of dedication that enables the team to be in the right place at the right time to offer help and advice when individuals have put themselves at risk by the water.” 

Karen Hinson, Angling Trust National Volunteers Manager, added: “As well as providing a timely reminder about water safety, this incident is another in a growing number where our volunteers have demonstrated their value, not just in supporting the EA and Police, but to the wider community.” 

The Voluntary Bailiff Service is part of the Angling Trust’s Fisheries Enforcement Support Service and is funded from fishing licence income as part of the National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Environment Agency. 

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