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When a bushfire struck the idyllic coastal community of Tathra in March, important radio infrastructure was destroyed, and with summer on the horizon the push is on to restore coverage before peak tourist season.

Fortunately the loss of the radio repeater didn’t have an impact on operational safety on the few remaining weekends of patrol with the network able to function on the backup system of mobile phones.

Unreliable and patchy mobile coverage underscored the importance of restoring the network ahead of summer as the Tathra repeater plays an important role in not just the local area but extends over 25 kilometres in either direction.

Surf Life Saving NSW Operations personnel are in town from today for a two-day inspection of primary sites for a replacement repeater.

After a period of research, the list has been narrowed to a final selection of three locations.

“The Far South Coast is an absolutely beautiful part of the world with rugged coastline and some of the best beaches you can find anywhere,” said Duty Operations Coordinator Andrew Ugarte.

“Unfortunately the trade-off for this scenic beauty is that it’s an extremely difficult area to get radio signals in and out of, which is a challenge for surf lifesavers during rescue operations.

“The purpose of this visit is to work closely with local lifesavers and the community to utilise their knowledge and determine the ideal location for the repeater. Once in place we can than integrate communications with the whole Far South Coast and into the state network ahead of summer,” he concluded.


Monday 13 August 2018