Isaac Heagney's award-winning rock fishing device

North Haven’s Isaac Heagney
North Haven’s Isaac Heagney

North Haven’s Isaac Heagney initially created a safety device to help keep his parent’s fears at bay whenever he went rock fishing. 

Isaac’s design recently won him two awards at the Science Teachers’ Association of New South Wales (STANSW) Young Scientist Awards in Wollongong.

The design took out equal first place for Most Promising Award. As a 2019 ISEF Finalist Isaac won an all expenses-paid trip to represent Australia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

The fair is at Phoenix, Arizona in May 2019.

Isaac undertook the project in his HSC Design and Technology class at St Columba Anglican College, and it took about 12 months to complete. 

Isaac had never learnt any technical processes involved with coding, prior to taking on the project. He found there was a lot of trial and error involved.

“I had to do research and watch a lot of YouTube videos,” he said. 

The invention works by sending a wifi signal between a transmitter on the fisherman’s belt and a receiver in their fishing bag.

If a fisherman falls into the water the wifi signal (which can’t travel through water) is interrupted and an alert is sent from the device in their fishing bag.

It sends the GPS coordinates of the fisherman to a nominated mobile number to alert rescuers.

Isaac said he hopes the prototype will eventually be available on the consumer market but he still has a lot of work to do before then. 

Isaac frequents Point Perpendicular and the breakwall at North Haven in big swell to fish. 

“I’m pretty safe about it and I know how to read the conditions,” he said. 

Unfortunately Isaac said his parents might have to stress a bit longer before the device is completely finished. 

Isaac said he is enjoying working as a labourer, after recently graduating from Year 12. 

He hopes to one day become a carpenter. 

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