Inverloch beachgoers were alarmed to see how far the dunes had been cut away by heavy surf at the weekend, leaving the surf club’s patrol tower in a precarious position. M982818

Huge waves, driven by high winds continued to pound the Inverloch foreshore all weekend leaving the surf club’s tower and seating dangling close to the edge. M992818

BASS Coast Shire workers arrived in the nick of time last Sunday lunchtime to save the Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club’s patrol tower from toppling over into the ocean.
Such was the speed and severity of the damage caused to the dune system by big waves and high tides over the weekend that the patrol tower and beach seating went from safe on Friday afternoon to severely at risk by Saturday night.
The tower only narrowly survived the morning high tide and big swell on Sunday, leaving its steel skids right on the edge of the failing dunes, prompting beachgoers to report the predicament.
After similar storm surges in 2016, the observation tower was moved and a decision taken to mount the tower on steel skids, should the situation arise again. It’s lucky they did.
Club President Fiona Hughes–McMahon praised the shire for its prompt action.
“Unfortunately, we had to move the observation tower away from the erosion caused on the beach and the process was very quick with design of the skids,” Ms McMahon-Hughes said.
“Discussion will occur with council during the week with regards to the long-term solution including repairs to the access track and the location of the patrol tower for the 2019 summer patrolling season.
“The Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club is most grateful to the many local residents who contacted the club to advise them of the situation and to the Bass Coast Shire Council who provided resources to facilitate the move so quickly.
“Due to the high drop from the access path to the main surf beach, the main access path to the beach from the Inverloch Surf Beach Carpark has been closed.”
The club is always concerned about beach safety and Ms McMahon-Hughes encouraged beach goers to be mindful of access to the beach on all the pathways, debris along the foreshore and in the water and the unstable sand dunes due to the erosion that has occurred as a result of the storm surge.