Falcon: Beach Emergency Numbers signage launched at Gearies surf break


Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone and Greg Gerring at Gearies surf break in Falcon.
Picture: Jon Hewson d468605
Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone and Greg Gerring at Gearies surf break in Falcon. Picture: Jon Hewson d468605

THE City of Mandurah launched its new Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) signage last week at Gearies surf break in Falcon.

The move came after a shark attacked and killed surfer Ben Gerring last year and there was a delay in the emergency response because of confusion over the location.

After consultation with a range of government agencies, local governments and community members, the new identification signage will help beach users and emergency services to effectively describe and locate where an incident may have occurred.

Mr Gerrings’s friends and family were at the launch.

Brother Rick said it was a happy but emotional day.

“Ben would have been very proud today and I did not want him to have died in vain,’’ he said.

He said the former State Government had not been interested in funding the system but it looked as if the present Government would be more willing to help.

“It’s a fantastic idea, let’s roll it out across WA,’’ he said.

“Support from the community is already obvious.’’

Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone said the council had been working on the plan for more than 10 months.

The BEN signage has been installed at more than 80 coastal locations.

Each sign includes information to support emergency responders, including official beach names, GPS co-ordinates, coding, closest street addresses and the nearest crossroads.

The City has provided the data to all relevant agencies for use in their emergency responses and is encouraging other local government authorities and the State Government to get on board.

The council is finalising an advisory document that could form a template to encourage consistency and expansion of the concept.

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