Apps At Forefront Of Beach Safety
Planning a day at the beach has never been easier and a bunch of new apps means that beachgoers are able to access up-to-the minute weather forecasts, information about surf conditions or find their nearest patrolled beach.
With summer here, we look at the season’s newest technology which could help prevent people getting into difficulty at the beach and make our lifesavers’ job that little bit easier.
In 2016 the Surf Life Saving BeachSafe Website was updated with a refreshed, streamlined look that has allowed users to access information much more quickly and efficiently.
The Surf Life Saving initiative includes the location, facilities, weather, conditions and lifesaving services for all Australian beaches to help you find the right beach. BeachSafe also provides expert advice about flags and signs, waves, rip currents, marine creatures, surf skills and more.
All this information can also be found on the BeachSafe App which can be downloaded on your smartphone.
PATROL OPS APP:
The Patrol Ops app is an innovative tool exclusive to Surf Life Saving. It enables active patrol members to sign on and off with their local Surfcom Management Centre, to identify hazards on the beach, to log the location of all patrol equipment and to use their smartphone’s camera to visually record conditions.
Lifeguards and support operations volunteers can use the built-in GPS tracker to record their precise location and relay this data back while they are on patrol on jetski, board, IRB, on foot or in a vehicle. All of this information is relayed instantly to SLSA’s Surfcom Management System where it is used by SurfCom operators and Duty Officers to manage all beach services.
The information is fed directly into Beachsafe so that members of the public can view precisely where the safe patrolled area of a beach is, what the conditions are like and if the beach is open or closed for the day.
BOM WEATHER APP:
You can check the weather—wherever you are—from Australia's official weather source, the Bureau of Meteorology. This app is available via Google Play and the Apple App Store. BOM Weather gives you access to:
• What it actually feels like outside
• Wind, humidity and rainfall
• For the next 24hrs (in 3-hourly blocks)
• Temperature, humidity, wind, chance of rain
• Details for the week ahead
• The very popular rain radar
• Pause the radar loop at any time
• Zoom in and out easily
• Summaries listed by State
• Detailed warnings
• Live updates
MARINE RESCUE NSW APP:
Surf Life Saving NSW and Marine Rescue NSW enjoy a strong relationship which has proved vital when coastal search and rescue incidents unfold.
As many lifesavers have a natural affinity with the ocean that stretches beyond their time spent on the beach, this mobile app available on smart phones is well worth downloading for all recreational boat users.
The Marine Rescue App gives you access to;
• Local tide, weather and sea conditions
• Your latitude/longitude position coordinates
• Boat ramp locations and popular fishing spots
• A safety checklist for before you head out
• Emergency call procedures
Additionally recreational boat users can log on with Marine Rescue NSW with their expected departure and arrival times in a process that only takes a few minutes.
SAMSUNG Pocket Patrol App
Samsung and Surf Life Saving have been trialling an app called “Pocket Patrol,” which allows users to see beach hazards overlaid on the camera view of their smartphone. The app uses the GPS locator within a smartphone to plot hazards identified by experienced lifesavers and lifeguards.
The app has been trialled at two beaches on the Sunshine Coast (Coolum and Alexandra Headland). Swimmers can download the Pocket Patrol app and scan the beach and an “augmented reality” view overlays dangers in the water, onto their phone screen.
Mon 19 Dec 2016