Byron’s Kings Beach will soon have an Angel Ring safety device installed after a long campaign by a Sydney lifesaver who saved someone from drowning at the beach last year.
The unpatrolled beach is a popular spot among the naturist and gay communities.
The lifesaving ring will live on a post at the beach and can be thrown to people in trouble in the surf.
The beach has been approved as a location for the rings, together with Cape Byron, Broken Head, Forty Foot, and North and South Goanna, by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) that manages them.
Dave Wilson, who is a marine rescue professional and holder of 23 of the 26 awards with Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA), described the beach as a ‘black spot’, with no mobile and limited two-way radio reception.
Mr Wilson alleged homophobia in the NPWS after his early approaches to the service to approve lifesaving equipment for the beach were knocked back earlier this year.
He said the comment relayed to him was, ‘it’s a gay beach down there and [NPWS] don’t want people to use it’.
NPWS spokesperson Lawrence Orel denied the allegation and said that the service had not received formal application for the rings.
He did say that Mr Wilson had offered to donate some lifesaving equipment of his own for use on the beach but that NPWS had declined the offer because the items on offer were not suitable to be used by untrained beachgoers.