Rip Buoy Tested In Port Macquarie

Rip Buoy Tested In Port Macquarie

A marine floatation device that could potentially save lives on local beaches was tested this morning in Port Macquarie.

The testing of the Rip Buoy, which is a locally engineered invention, was witnessed by Minister for Primary Industry and Small Business, Katrina Hodgkinson, Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams and Rip Buoy Holdings Managing Director Neil Wallace at Town Beach.

Rip Buoy arranged for Australia’s Leading Academic (top 3 in the world) from the University of NSW. Dr Rob Brander is a coastal geomorphologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and a team of researchers to come to Port Macquarie to continue independent sea trials of Rip Buoys at Town, Shelley and Flynn beaches.

The Rip Buoy is mooredin the throat of a permanent rip so that when somebody in need is being swept out to sea they only have to float to the buoy for safety. Swimmers will then be able to activatethe onboard alarm system to alert local rescue services.

Leslie Williams said, "When I first saw the Rip Buoy and heard from Neil what it can do, I knew that it had the potential to save lives at beaches along the NSW coast and beyond.

Rip Buoy Managing Director, Neil Wallace said, "The concept of a Rip Buoy began on Australia Day 2010 when I was attending a family BBQ at Shelley Beach and witnessed a drowning.

"The drowning occurred when four young men were caught in a permanent rip although we were unaware of the unfolding tragedy until emergency services arrived later at the scene. By that time the men had been caught in the rip for some 25 minutes and as a result this claimed the life of one of these young men," Mr Wallace said.

"That tragedy caused me a great deal of distress and provided the inspiration for me to draw on my marine engineering background to research for a solution to this problem.

"After many hours and numerous idea’s the Rip Buoy concept emerged. After the construction and development of a number of prototypes, we now have a fully operational Rip Buoy with 24/7 back to base monitoring and data system.

"This allows a rapid and efficient response and safety-aid solution to people in distress," Mr Wallace said.

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