Locals and visitors to one of the State’s most popular coastal locations, North Kingscliff in the Tweed region, will be able to swim a little safer with new lifesaving technology installed for use in emergencies.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke was joined by Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest to unveil the Emergency Response Beacon.

“Lifesavers and lifeguards can’t be everywhere at once but beacons enable Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) to expand its reach and make every effort to protect swimmers at unpatrolled locations,” Ms Cooke said.

“North Kingscliff is one of 22 locations on the NSW coastline which will benefit from beacons as part of the NSW Government’s $16 million four-year investment in Surf Life Saving NSW.”

Mr Provest said each beacon is being installed at high-risk locations, many of which are unpatrolled by lifesavers or lifeguards.

“With a popular caravan park just metres away and the nearest patrolled section of beach about 800 metres away at the Cudgen Headland, members of the public can now be immediately connected to the SLSNSW State Operations Centre by clicking a button on the beacon,” Mr Provest said.

“This will give locals and visitors some extra peace of mind that help is available if they get into trouble while enjoying the water at North Kingscliff.”

SLSNSW President George Shales said the organisation is always looking for new ways to keep NSW beachgoers safer through enhanced technology.

“The beacon gives people at unpatrolled beaches a link to lifesaving services during emergencies, where every second can mean the difference between life and death,” Mr Shales said. 

Emergency Response Beacons use a camera and mobile technology to communicate between State Operations Centre personnel and the person on the beach, allowing personnel to gather situational information, issue instructions or provide reassurance.

SLSNSW can then respond using a wide range of Support Operations assets, including jet skis, inflatable rescue boats, volunteer callout teams from surf clubs, lifeguards or helicopter and drone services.

Emergency Response Beacons are solar-powered and are easy to install in remote or difficult to access locations. Flashing lights on top of the beacon act as a visual indicator that the unit has been activated.