New Emergency Response Beacon to make Scotts Head safer for beachgoers

The iconic Forester Beach at Scotts Head is tipped to receive an Emergency Response Beacon that will improve safety.

THE New South Wales Government has unveiled plans to bolster coastal safety measures with the installation of ten new Emergency Response Beacons (ERBs) in strategic coastal locations, a move set to potentially make Scotts Head Beach and surrounding areas safer for beachgoers.

The decision to expand emergency response infrastructure follows a recent roundtable convened by the Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib, aimed at addressing the rising number of coastal drownings in recent years.

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Emergency Response Beacons serve as a direct link to Surf Life Saving NSW’s State Operations Centre, facilitating the swift deployment of lifesaving and emergency services to potential rescue sites.

Particularly crucial in unpatrolled or isolated areas, these beacons have the potential to significantly reduce response times and improve overall safety along the coastline.

The rollout of at least ten new ERB units across various coastal regions, including Scotts Head, is part of the NSW Government’s $23 million additional investment in Surf Life Saving NSW.

This allocation forms the initial phase of a broader plan to deliver 32 ERBs over the next four years.

“We are very pleased that an ERB is coming to Scotts Head as it will add to the lifesaving capability we are able to provide, especially during holiday periods when the numbers of those using our beaches expands significantly,” Eric Graham, President of the Macksville Scotts Head Surf Lifesaving Club told News Of The Area.

In addition to the ERB initiative, the government is also procuring 67 jet skis over the same period, with fourteen already deployed to beaches across the state.

Jet skis offer increased maneuverability and can be swiftly deployed for rescue operations, further enhancing the capacity of emergency response teams.

The locations for the new ERBs were determined based on comprehensive data analysis of rescue statistics, and consultations with key stakeholders.

“Emergency Response Beacons are already being used successfully in coastal locations, including at Forster this summer when a beacon was instrumental in supporting the rescue of individuals caught in a rip current,” Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said.

“A day at the beach shouldn’t turn into a disaster, and this is one of several measures the NSW Government is taking to help ensure more people get home safely.”

Steve Pearce, Chief Executive of Surf Life Saving NSW, echoed Minister Dib’s sentiments.

“We currently have 32 ERBs positioned along the coast, and they are proving their worth in allowing the public to immediately alert us to incidents and emergencies,” Mr Pearce said.

Other locations earmarked for the new ERBs are Spoon Bay, Fraser Park and Forresters Beach on the Central Coast, Moonee Beach in the Hunter Region, Turrimetta and North Palm Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Austinmer, Woonoona and Bulli in the Illawarra.


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