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Council’s plan to manage shark warning procedure

07.06.2018, 苏州美甲美睫培训学校, by .

WARNING SYSTEM: Lifeguard Paul Stone at Redhead Beach this week. Picture: Phil HearneTHE spate of 14 shark attacks in NSW so far this year has swimmers and surfers on edge, but they can take some solace in the knowledge that Lake Macquarie City Council has an award-winning risk-management procedure in place at its four patrolled beaches.
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Council has liaised with shark researcher Dr Vic Peddemores, of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, to help develop the procedure.

It’s believed to be the first procedure of its kind in NSW, and has been shared with other councils.

The procedure was developed to ensure that lifeguards would consistently react in the same way, in the event of a suspected or confirmed shark sighting.

“The procedure ensures all team members are well informed and risk-aware, have the required equipment, skills and experience, and engage with the community to inform them of the risks associated with enjoying the beach,” a council spokesperson said.

In the event of a suspected shark sighting, lifeguards will follow a check list, including closing the beach, removing swimmers from the water using a whistle and hand signals, launching water craft to sweep the area, and search the water with binoculars from an elevated vantage point.

If the sighting is not confirmed, lifeguards can reopen the beach after one hour.

In the event of a confirmed shark sighting, lifeguards will evacuate swimmers from the water using the emergency siren, launch water craft and attempt to herd the shark out to sea.

Lifeguards will follow up with extended searches and water-based patrols, determined by the conditions.

Lifeguard Paul Stone told the Newcastle Herald there was a heightened feeling about sharks, although he was not sure if there were more sharks, or whether sharks were simply getting more media coverage.

He said one thing was certain.

“The message is the same – swim between the flags because of you encounter any difficulties, at least there’s somebody there to help you,” he said.

■ AT this year’s Statewide Mutual Local Government Risk Conference, LMCC took out the Risk Management Excellence Award for its Managing Shark Sightings Procedure.

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