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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​One of the newly installed sigs at Kwinana Beach.

Friday 17 August 2018

First of more than 1,000 lifesaving signs installed at WA beaches

The first of more than 1,000 lifesaving Beach Emergency Number (BEN) signs for the Western Australia coast have been installed in the City of Kwinana and Shire of Waroona.

The BEN signs are part of a strategy to strengthen emergency responses should a serious incident occur. Each sign has a unique code, to help emergency services pinpoint exact beach access locations and improve crucial response times for a range of potential serious incidents.

In the event of an emergency, members of the public can call triple zero and quote the BEN number ensuring emergency services will reach the destination as quickly as possible.

The signs were initiated by Rick Gerring, the brother of Ben Gerring, whose life was lost after a fatal shark attack in Falcon in 2016, after concerns about possible delays in attending emergency services trying to locate the closest beach access point.

Rick Gerring, brother of shark victim Ben, unveils one of the new signs at Kwinana Beach with Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly.

Grants of up to $25,000 for eligible metropolitan councils, and up to $50,000 for eligible regional councils, to install the lifesaving signage are being offered by the Government.

The City of Kwinana is the first metropolitan council to install the lifesaving BEN signs through the grants scheme, while the Shire of Waroona is the first regional council with three BEN signs now in place at Preston Beach.

The City of Mandurah independently installed 81 BEN signs in honour of Mr Gerring in May 2017.

The lifesaving BEN signs complement the Government’s comprehensive shark mitigation strategy which includes funding for Surf Life Saving WA beach, helicopter and drone patrols, a personal shark deterrent subsidy for divers and surfers, beach enclosures, an extended Shark Monitoring Network to Esperance, tagging operations and a new SMART drumline trial off Gracetown.


Last modified: 17/08/2018 1:57 PM

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