COTTESLOE Surf Life Saving Club (CSLSC) will give away a State Government-supplied beach watchtower after criticism of its proposed location a kilometre south of Cottesloe Beach.
The decision was arrived at at the Town’s council meeting last night .
“The City of Perth requires a tower urgently, so I’ll send it there, because by the time it could allowed for Cottesloe summer will be over,” CSLSC president David Hounslow said.
Mr Hounslow said he had talked with council staff for about six months about putting the 4m-high structure on grass near the Dutch Inn groyne, for offshore surveillance of nearby kitesurfers, first aid and faster response times along the increasingly used south Cottesloe coast.
Currently, only inflatable dinghy and occasional dune buggy and walk surf patrols can occur south from Cottesloe Beach, past Dutch Inn, to Cable Station at Mosman Park.
A tower on weekends until April would have radio contact with ambulances, rescue helicopters, the main beach patrol and Water Police.
However, councillors’ concerns about the proposed site included whether neighbours had been told, if lifesavers’ views covered both the Dutch Inn and South Cottesloe beaches, and if the structure designed for sand could topple on grass.
Mr Hounslow said the tower would give volunteers low-glare vision from 400m to 1km offshore where more kitesurfers needed rescuing, and to treat the public onshore when summer traffic blocked Marine Terrace.
“By the time the lifesavers on Cottesloe’s main beach get the message and respond, 15 minutes has gone by, and by the time lifesavers arrive on the scene, with defibrillator and oxygen, another 15 minutes has passed, and the patient could be dead when the ambulance arrives five minutes later,” he said.
Windsurfers have used the intended site for the tower since the late 1970s, and Windsurfing WA president Tim Brazier said while greater safety was supported, a tower would affect windsurfers’ use of the foreshore, and not give lifesavers beach views beyond 300m to the north.
Cr Sally Pyvis said a tower could be needed north of Cottesloe Beach, at swimming spots known as Peter’s Pool and Slimey’s.
“I don’t think the sightlines have been dealt with, and there’s been no consultation with the windsurfers and kitesurfers, and other locations could be a priority,” Mayor Jo Dawkins said.
The club’s proposal was deferred for a report on all issues at the December 13 meeting.