Lack of vision for tower
THE Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club is giving away a State Government-supplied beach watchtower after criticism of its proposed location 1km south of Cottesloe Beach.
“The City of Perth (SLSC) requires a tower urgently so I’ll send it there, because by the time it could be allowed for Cottesloe summer will be over,” Cottesloe SLSC president David Hounslow said after the Town of Cottesloe deferred a decision last week on his proposal to place the watchtower at Dutch Inn.
Mr Hounslow said he had talked with council staff and several adjacent neighbours for about six months about a 4mhigh tower manned on weekends until April, with radio contact to ambulances, rescue helicopters, the main Cottesloe Beach patrol and Water Police.
He said it would mainly be used for offshore surveillance for nearby kitesurfer rescues, first aid and faster response times along the increasingly used south Cottesloe coast.
Currently, only inflatable dinghy and occasional dune buggy and walk surf patrols occur along the 2km south from Cottesloe Beach and past Dutch Inn to Mosman Park dog beach.
Mr Hounslow said the tower would give volunteers low-glare vision to 1km offshore and treat the public onshore when summer traffic blocked coastal Marine Terrace for emergency services.
“By the time the lifesavers on Cottesloe’s main beach get the message and respond 15 minutes have gone by, and by the time lifesavers arrive on the scene with defibrillator and oxygen another 15 minutes have passed, and the patient could be dead when the ambulance arrives five minutes later,” he said.
However, councillors’ concerns about the proposed site included whether neighbours and other users had been told, if lifesavers could see the beaches and if the tower could topple on grass.
Windsurfers have used the proposed site since the late 1970s. Windsurfing WA president Tim Brazier said while greater safety was supported, the tower would affect their foreshore use and may not give lifesavers beach views beyond 300m to the north.
Mayor Jo Dawkins said while she had no problems with extra safety, the proposal had not dealt with lifesavers’ sightlines, there had been no consultation with windsurfers and neighbours, and it would be “irresponsible” for the council to make a decision without talks.