Four new Emergency Response Beacons (ERBs) across the Lower North Coast will ensure heightened safety for beachgoers this summer as the rollout of the lifesaving technology by Surf Life Saving NSW continues.

With funding secured through the NSW Government’s Enhanced Rescue Funding package, new devices have been installed at Diamond Beach, Tuncurry Beach, and Boomerang Beach, while a fourth is currently in the process of installation at The Ruins in Booti Booti National Park.

Once that process is complete, a stretch of four dangerous blackspots between Blackhead and Elizabeth Beach will be made safer with an ERB, the activation of which connects the user straight to the SLSNSW State Operations Centre (SOC) where an operator will task the nearest lifesavers, lifeguards or other emergency service.

These sites had been identified through research under the Black Spot Program and Operation Blue Print as high-risk locations and the installation of the ERB will decrease the response time for emergency services to attend an incident at each location.

How do ERBs work

Lower North Coast Director of Lifesaving, Nathan De Rooy said the ERBs would be an important asset to lifesaving operations in the region.

“We have already seen the lifesaving capability of these units at other locations across NSW.  This technology gives an immediate connection between someone in trouble or witnessing an emergency on the beach, to our State Operations Centre so help can be on the way quickly,” he said.

“They’re solar powered, camera-equipped and connect to the 4G network so there is no cabling involved in installation. It really is a seamless process that has so much benefit for the community.

“These areas are often not patrolled so to have the ERB there, which also gives operators good situational awareness to pass on to lifesavers and lifeguards through live video streaming, it’s going to really reduce response times and likely save many lives, whether it’s swimming, rock fishing or boating incidents.”

Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead welcomed the news.

“It’s no secret that our beaches are absolutely world-class and are visited all year round by locals and visitors” Mr Bromhead said.

“These Emergency Response Beacon’s (ERB’s) will ensure people feel safe at our beaches and they could save a life.”

The ERB uses the latest mobile technology to communicate between the SOC and the person on the beach and the SOC operator can quickly gather important information, issue instructions or provide reassurance in an emergency situation.

A camera fitted to the ERB can be remotely monitored by the SOC to provide operators with situational awareness of the incident. Surf Life Saving can then respond using a wide range of Support Operations assets, including jetskis, inflatable rescue boats, volunteer callout teams from surf clubs, lifeguards, or helicopter or drone services.

SLSNSW Emergency Response Beacons Locations

For more information on Emergency Response Beacons, click here.

Tuesday 13 December 2022