New heights of lifesaving
CITY Beach is home to the first of 10 new lifesaving observation towers set to hit WA beaches.
The purpose-built towers give lifesavers a vantage point almost three metres high to watch beachgoers. They will also be at Mandurah, Coogee, Scarborough, Mullaloo, Port Bouvard, Yanchep, Secret Harbour, Sorrento and Bunbury by summer.
Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) general manager Chris Peck said the towers would help lifesavers spot hazards such as rips, marine life and swimmers in distress, and increase their patrolling footprint.
“We know that despite our constant calls for beachgoers to swim between the flags where they are most visible to surf life savers, not everyone adheres to this practice,” he said.
“The surf live saving mantra of ‘if we can’t see you, we can’t save you’ is a message we’ve been sharing with the public for nearly a century and our ability to respond relies directly on this.”
Mr Peck said lifesavers had significant input into the design; they had previously tested units from California, but they were inappropriate for WA.
The towers have been funded through a $750,000 Lotterywest grant, with co-contributions from local councils and surf life saving clubs.