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Lifesavers pursue patrol tower

A NEW patrol tower is sorely needed at the Inverloch Surf Beach.
The old patrol tower was removed before summer last year due to erosion.

Out in the cold: Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club president Angela Malan stands alongside paid lifeguards Natalie Wabbis and Cassandra Mond sheltering from the rain at the Inverloch surf beach.

Out in the cold: Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club president Angela Malan stands alongside paid lifeguards Natalie Wabbis and Cassandra Mond sheltering from the rain at the Inverloch surf beach.

Since then, paid lifesavers and Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club volunteers have had to make do with other means to patrol one of the busiest beaches in the region.
Patrollers now find themselves at the mercy of the elements when watching the water.
Currently the patrollers are stationed in a marquee or the club’s all terrain vehicle (ATV), but neither offer good protection against wind and rain.
Patrolling members must also use unorthodox methods for radio control during their patrols.
Because the old tower was the hub for radio communication between patrollers on the beach, Lifesaving Victoria and other local clubs, a temporary radio post has had to be introduced at the clubhouse.
But rescues are complicated, as lifesavers cannot view the beach from the clubhouse during a patrol.
Earlier in the season, before the temporary radio room was established, members were forced to use unreliable mobile phone technology during a rescue.
Club president Angela Malan said the first steps had been made towards building a replacement tower for the beach.
“The basic designs have been drawn up by Darren Brown Design in Wonthaggi. Then we just have to go through and get planning permission from the (Bass Coast Shire) Council and DEPI (Department of Environment and Primary Industry) because we are building on the beach,” she said.
Ms Malan told The Star a new location a few metres west of the dune where the old tower stood would be suitable for the tower.
“It is where we would like it to go because we would have a full line of sight to the beach from there,” she said.
“This is important because even though we are contracted to patrol between the flags, the beach population here tends to spread out and things can go wrong up and down the beach.”
Ms Malan said the new tower would also need to be removable so it could be salvaged if erosion happened again.
The community has questioned the club about when a new tower would be erected, Ms Malan said.
“We have had a number of people ask us when we will be getting a new patrol tower and what we are doing to fundraise for one,” she said.
“People come to this beach because it is patrolled and we get a lot of community interest in our operations,” she said.
The club is planning to seek local and state government approval for the new tower in April.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=9864

Posted by on Feb 4 2014. Filed under Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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