Surf Life Saving WA has rolled out the eighth of ten new purpose built observation towers designed to improve effectiveness of beach safety activities.

  • Significant funding received by Surf Life Saving WA (SLWA) through a $750,000 Lotterywest Grant, with a $15,000 co-contribution from the City of Bunbury.
  • The elevated towers will greatly enhance surveillance capabilities of surf lifesaving’s frontline services through the provision of better infrastructure.
  • The tower will be utilised by City of Bunbury Surf Life Saving Club volunteer surf lifesavers.
  • Towers have been installed at City Beach; Mandurah; Mullaloo; Sorrento; Secret Harbour; Port Bouvard; and Scarborough with towers at Yanchep and Coogee set for completion in coming weeks.
  • Local WA manufacturer commissioned to help design and build the custom designed towers using Australian sourced product.

According to Surf Life Saving WA General Manager – Lifesaving, Chris Peck, the elevated towers will greatly enhance surf lifesavers surveillance capabilities, enabling a whole of beach view by pushing the position of lifesavers above beach users and providing a greater field of vision.

“Surveillance is the cornerstone of what we do as lifesavers,” said Mr Peck.

“The implementation of these towers will not only increase our lifesavers ability to spot hazards in the water but significantly provide the opportunity to increase our patrolling footprint.”

“We know that, despite our constant calls for beachgoers to swim between the flags where they are most visible to surf lifesavers, not everyone adheres to this practice. The surf lifesaving mantra of “if we can’t see you, we can’t save you” is a message we have been sharing with the public for nearly a century and our ability to respond relies directly on this.”

Funded through a $750,000 Lotterywest grant, the non-permanent towers provide an elevated surveillance platform, with the lifesavers deck nearly 3 metres high, providing trained personnel with improved surveillance perspectives and an operational station that will improve beach safety outcomes through enabling constant visual contact with the ocean and any beach user in need of assistance; and fast, easy access to the beach.

Mr Peck said that, while the use of observation towers occurs on beaches worldwide, these modular towers are locally designed and manufactured and will significantly increase the patrolling footprint of our lifesavers, their ability to consistently see a range of hazards such as rips, marine life and swimmers in distress, and to respond in a timely manner.

“The visibility of these towers, which we envisage will become a beacon of safety on these beaches, will also ensure that if the beach using public need assistance they know where to find our lifesavers quickly,” he said.

Surf Life Saving WA has worked closely with the City of Bunbury who have made a $15,000 co-contribution to the Koombana Bay tower, demonstrating the power of local community partnerships.