Calls for emergency beacon amid fears of fatality

AN EMERGENCY alarm could be installed on the Noosa North Shore in a bid to prevent a possible surf fatality.

Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast regional manager Aaron Purchase confirmed that the alarm was one of several measures under consideration to improve safety on the North Shore.

The alarm, if installed, would be similar to two emergency radio beacons which were placed at Noosa's Alexandria Bay several years ago to alert lifesavers of incidents at the unpatrolled beach.

The Noosa Surf Life Saving Club is driving the push for a beacon at the Noosa North Shore.

Mr Purchase said there had been a number of incidents in the surf on the North Shore in the past.

A boogie boarder was caught in a rip last Saturday afternoon but was rescued by a surfer before the arrival of emergency services.

Mr Purchase said the North Shore was becoming more popular with swimmers, particularly since vehicles had been prevented from accessing part of the beach.

"There's a lot more people using that area up there and in the holiday periods it's quite busy," he said.

The area was serviced by roving patrols - helicopter, jet ski, and four-wheel-drive vehicles - on weekends and school holidays, he said.

Mr Purchase said a beacon could be in place on the North Shore by the beginning of the next surf life saving season if investigations found it to be warranted.

Other safety measures, such as a flagged area or more roving patrols, could also be considered.

John Mierocha, manager of the Beach Front Caravan Park on Noosa North Shore, welcomed news that an emergency alarm could be installed in the area.

"Nothing would make me happier," he said.

Mr Purchase said SLSQ regularly reviewed safety measures at all beaches frequented by the public.

"We're always looking at all the beaches on the Coast and trying to identify things where we do have recurring incidents, and coming up with solutions which we can try to minimise the risk to the public," he said.

Topics:  noosa north shore surf life saving queensland

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