Pacifique Boardriders Club president Keith Drinkwater and lifeguard Chris Steffan are excited about the proposal for a Coastal Watch camera for Bargara.
Pacifique Boardriders Club president Keith Drinkwater and lifeguard Chris Steffan are excited about the proposal for a Coastal Watch camera for Bargara. Max Fleet

New pair of eyes set for beaches

SURFERS and beachgoers could soon check out the swell in Bargara and Agnes Water from the comfort of their own homes if a plan for 24-hour online camera monitoring goes ahead.

Surf Life Saving Queensland Wide Bay Capricorn regional manager Craig Holden said initial assessments had been carried out on Kelly's Beach, Bargara, and Main Beach in Agnes Water to determine their suitability for continuous video monitoring systems.

“There are a lot of considerations we need to take on board in terms of location and power access, but we think it's something which would be an asset to the region and it's something we will keep looking into,” he said.

The cameras would allow the public to check beach conditions on the www.coastalwatch.com website, with footage streamed live 24 hours a day.

Mr Holden said the technology could be an important tool for surf lifesavers to use to improve safety and prevent drownings, as well as for surfers who wanted to check out conditions.

“It's an exciting avenue for us to try and improve beach safety and would help us monitor areas further away from the flags, and keep an eye on things when no one is on duty,” he said.

The project has pricked the ears of local surfers, who hope to be able to cast an eye over conditions at the two popular surfing beaches with a simple click of the mouse.

Pacifique Boardriders Club president Keith Drinkwater said the surf community would throw its full support behind the project, saying it could also help to boost the profile of the beaches.

“It's a great service for swimmers and surfers,” he said.

“People from out of town can see what the conditions are like before driving all the way to the beach. I think it would also help bring surfers from other areas, which would be a shot in the arm for local businesses.”

Coastal Watch technical support manager Graham Clark said Bargara and Agnes Water were on the company's radar and would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

“We need to work with the local community to determine the need for it and then go from there,” he said.



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