SHARK ALERT: Early warning shark sirens will be installed at Evans Head following an increase in shark sightings on the North Coast.
SHARK ALERT: Early warning shark sirens will be installed at Evans Head following an increase in shark sightings on the North Coast. Samantha Elley

Evans Head early shark warning system operational

SURFERS and swimmers at Evans Head beach will have an extra line of defence against threats from sharks and other potential hazards following today's commissioning of Richmond Valley Council's early warning shark sighting system.

This new technology, featuring a remotely-controlled siren, is about communicating to the public and beachgoers as a quick response to minimise shark attacks.

The warning system will allow surf lifesavers, police, rangers and Marine Rescue volunteers to be able to set off the sirens to warn all surfers and swimmers of shark sightings.

The system uses high-technology video verification, which is connected to a 24/7 control room.

This control room will also be able to review any information and hazards and remotely set off the sirens.

Sirens have been installed at the Evans Head Surf Club and the Marine Rescue tower at the Razorback lookout.

From this location Marine Rescue volunteers have a great view of the beaches and break wall.

If there is a shark sighting, they will also be able to trigger the sirens.

In addition to the shark sirens, a public address system will be used to verbally communicate to the public to keep them up to date.

The state-of-the-art system was designed by CAV Security.

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett is confident the sirens will help the community and anyone attending the beach.

Cr Bennett said the unique design of the system provided a quick and simple communication of the sirens, while having the remote access to turn them on being a huge benefit.

He said safe beaches were something the Council was passionate about, and Evans Head would benefit from the early warning system and other future initiatives.

"The idea for this initiative came out of discussions between the NSW Police, Surf Life Saving NSW, Marine Rescue and Council when drafting a Shark Sighting Protocol," Cr Bennett said.

"Council is very proud of its lead role in commissioning and funding this project, which is the first of its kind in Australia.

"Evans Head, indeed the entire coastline of the Richmond Valley local government area, is a significant stakeholder in the current shark issue and Council looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the NSW Government and its neighbouring councils to achieve positive outcomes for community safety."



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