BEACH PATROL: Lifeguards’ rosters were badly disrupted at the height of the holiday season by a website failure.
BEACH PATROL: Lifeguards’ rosters were badly disrupted at the height of the holiday season by a website failure.

Lifesavers’ website in summer meltdown

THE rosters of volunteer lifesavers on the Far North Coast were seriously disrupted after the Lismore-based internet provider Nornet experienced a server meltdown on Christmas Eve.

The crash affected a number of community organisations whose websites Nornet hosts free of charge.

One organisation affected was Surf Lifesaving Far North Coast Branch Incorporated, which posts volunteer rosters on a website that Nornet hosts for free.

The branch’s media liaison officer Michael Gibbs said it was a nightmare wondering whether the website would come back or not.

After more than a fortnight offline, the website reappeared yesterday.

Mr Gibbs said lifesaver rosters were posted one month in advance and members had been reduced to phoning people to advise them when they were required.

“I can’t say how many people didn’t turn up or had to be replaced, but it made our operations very difficult.

“We are going to discuss whether or not to leave Nornet at our next branch meeting.”

Cindy Wescombe, Nornet’s general manager, is on holiday in Tasmania and emailed The Northern Star about the matter.

“We are working to resolve this as quickly as we can, however all my technicians are on holidays and we have had to call in contractors,” she wrote.

Mr Gibbs said he was also upset at being unable to contact Nornet about the problem.

“Their phone rang out. We came back online on Friday morning and a Nornet person phoned to apologise. However, it’s not acceptable for an internet company not to have a fallback position if a server goes down.”

A company employee from accounts answered a call made to the company’s freecall number, saying they’d only just realised their office phone wasn’t working.


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