PHILLIP Island’s Smiths Beach will be an even safer place thanks to a new observation tower.
Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino officially opened the new tower on Friday, which will provide environmentally friendly, fit-for-purpose facilities to support volunteer lifesaver patrols.
“Our lifesavers dedicate countless hours to patrolling beaches and waterways across Victoria and it’s great to give them the facilities they deserve,” Mr Merlino said.
“The new observation tower will help our lifesavers to make our local community safer.”
The observation tower provides shelter and storage as well as first-aid care for the community and volunteer lifesavers.
The tower’s elevated position also ensures that life guards have a much better view of swimmers.
The works include ramp entry to the rescue base which allows easy access for paramedics, wheelchairs and gurneys.
The project was made possible by a $255,000 grant from the State Government and an impressive $40,000 contribution from the Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo.
The Woolamai Surf Lifesaving Club conducts the patrols at the beach, and president Rob Murphy said the Smiths Beach observation tower was step one of the club’s grand vision to have connecting patrols right around Phillip Island.
“We’re very pleased to finally have a base where we can fully patrol Smiths Beach. During summer the place is packed and it becomes quite difficult to see everything but now our lifesavers will have the best opportunity to protect beach goers.
“But this is just phase one of our vision. We eventually want to have all patrols right around the Island connected by roaming jet skis and we’re even looking into incorporating drones in future patrols,” president Murphy said.
Life guards performed more than 2000 preventative actions as well as 22-first-aid treatments and eight rescues at Smiths Beach over the 2017-18 season.