Towers mean safer beaches
By CRAIG McTEAR
THE men and women who patrol Coffs Coast beaches can now keep a better eye on things.
The first 'tower of strength', next to the Coffs Harbour Surf Club at Park Beach, is ready to be manned once the finishing touches are applied.
Work will soon begin on installing another surveillance tower to cover Sawtell Beach.
A third tower will go up at Red Rock, allowing council lifeguards and club lifesavers to cover Little Beach and Main Beach.
Lifeguards and lifesavers will use the towers during their regular patrols this summer.
"This is great news, particularly coming at the very start of the summer season," Coffs Harbour mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, said.
"These surveillance towers will be an invaluable tool for lifeguards and lifesavers to improve public safety on our beaches."
With each tower costing $40,000 to build, Coffs Harbour City Council has contributed $80,000 and the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour Daybreak has raised $40,000.
Park Beach Plaza this week pledged $44,000 towards the Towers of Strength program.
A tower at Diggers Beach is also in the pipeline, along with a second one at Park Beach and another at a yet-to-be-determined location.
"All the towers will make an enormous difference to the surveillance we can provide," the council's lifeguard co-ordinator, Greg Hackfath, said.
"Having such a vantage point means we can spot anyone in difficulties much more easily than we can from the beach.
"I'm sure the towers will have an immediate impact on public safety. But even if you use a beach serviced with one of these towers, I would urge everyone always to remember the golden rule ? only swim between the flags on patrolled beaches."
You can make a donation to the Towers of Strength appeal at any branch of the Bananacoast Credit Union.