A state-wide coastal public safety risk assessment project will head to the Great Lakes region on the NSW Coast this week as part of four-year research study to reduce coastal drownings across the state.
More than 350 people have drowned along the coast of NSW in the last decade, and while the incidents have been varied the vast majority are people caught in rip currents while swimming, or swept from rocks while fishing and almost all occur at unpatrolled locations or outside patrol hours.
Surf Life Saving NSW’s Project Blueprint aims to help reduce coastal drowning deaths by assessing every coastal location in NSW including beaches and rock headlands.
The visit to Great Lakes marks the beginning of the final year of assessment, and is a significant milestone for the project.
The project is being delivered as part of the NSW Government Water Safety Blackspots Program by the SLSNSW Australian CoastSafe Department with the support of Great Lakes Council and the regional division of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“We are all very lucky to live and work in the Great Lakes Region with a spectacular coastline and a variety of beaches ranging from our popular patrolled town beaches to the remote and wild areas such as Submarine (Yagon) Beach,” National Parks and Wildlife Service Great Lakes Area Manager Stephen Smith said.
“We look forward to supporting the implementation of Project Blueprint and working with Surf Life Saving NSW to help reduce known risks in the Great Lakes Area.”
Since 2004 there have been a number of coastal drownings within the Great Lakes Local Government Area, while the State Emergency Response system has logged 75 major incidents in the last 7 years.
During their visit to the area, Surf Life Saving NSW Coastal Risk Officers will assess 153 kilometres of coastline across 49 beaches and rock platforms from Tuncurry’s Nine Mile Beach through to Bennetts Beach, Hawks Nest.
Surf Life Saving NSW Coastal Risk Manager Adam Weir believes that the local community can contribute to the success of the project by sharing their knowledge and experiences of the coastline at one of the local community forums.
“We urge members of the public to be part of the project by coming along to one of our community forums or contacting us directly to share their knowledge and experience of the Great Lakes Coastline,” Mr Weir said.
Community Forum Details:
Where: Cape Hawke Surf Life Saving Club
When: Wednesday 24 June
Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: Hawks Nest Golf Club
When: Monday 29 June
Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Members of the public that are unable to come along to one of the community forums but would still like to contribute to the project should contact; Luke Stigter at firstname.lastname@example.org