Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club President Warren Cooke tests out the radio in the new ‘mobile patrol base’, which the club will be able to move around the area they patrol. Op034719

INVERLOCH Surf Life Saving Club (ISLSC) have welcomed the arrival of a new ‘mobile patrol base’ ahead of their patrol season which starts at the end of the month.
The club have previously lost two towers to the erosion-driven receding coastline.
The club was forced to mount the second observation box on sleds, further up the beach from the flags so it would not be washed away, as they were not able to easily move it from where it had been placed.
The new, solar powered patrol base is a modified trailer which can be towed by their ATVs, but still has the distinctive red and yellow surf lifesaving colours.
New ISLSC president Warren Cooke says they do not plan to move it too much from its position at the edge of the access pathway to the beach on a compacted crushed rock base.
“We are pretty stoked with it as a solution, it’s definitely better than we had before.”
Warren says they are really happy with the new base that they have bought alongside a new six-seater ATV upgrade, but he does not believe that it should be looked at as a long-term solution.
“We also think about the extremes of weather, from 40-degree days to cold, windy days and the view that we can obtain from our patrolling areas.”
Warren says many of the new features are improvements on comfort for life guards based on problems that they had with the old models.
It has large lockable solid shutters, and glass sliding windows that open for ventilation on hot days.
Extraction fans have been installed for excessive heat days, and it’s currently being fitted out with a digital radio base station and solar panels.
He says it is a temporary measure for the next three to five years, until the erosion issues are addressed, and the beach is stabilised.
ISLSC bought the new mobile patrol base and ATV themselves and are hoping to receive a grant to cover the costs.
The club are preparing for what they expect to be a busy, and possibly late running summer, last year they performed six rescues, and over 2000 preventative measures during their patrols.
Warren says he has safety concerns about the large amount of debris that has been drifting along the surf beach in recent years, especially sticks and branches.
The club are currently in the middle of training up their recruits on inflatable Rescue Boats, as well as the new ATV, ahead of their first patrol for this season on Saturday, November 30, and will continue until Easter.