18.6 C
Byron Shire
December 6, 2021

Vandals smash Byron’s new surf safety signs

Latest News

Cadwallader, Lyon and Krieg most likely new Far North Coast mayors

With most of the votes cast, and counting over until tomorrow, the New South Wales Electoral Commission stats would suggest that there are three clear winners of the mayoral contests in Ballina, Byron and Lismore Shires.

Other News

Voting options on paid parking

Council paid parking in Byron Bay, and National Parks NSW paid parking, has ruined the amenity we once had,...

Byron Supper Club

Bryce Hallett The Byron Supper Club is set to return and transport audiences to a magical and exciting realm akin...

Nothing cute about the Frogbit alien invasion

Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) is an invasive, smothering waterweed that poses a serious environmental threat which has been found in the Richmond River and at Chinderah.

A disappointed dog

It’s taken a whole week for my dog to read to page 21 in last week’s Echo. She’s been...

Candidates against the train

Bruce Clarke, Mark Swivel and Asren Pugh have officially stated they do not believe it’s worth trying to get...

Govt delays action on holiday letting

The desperately-needed 90-day cap on un-hosted holiday letting promised to Byron locals by the State Government has become ensnared in a web of departmental obstructions and delays.

Byron surfing identity Max Pendergast, right, with Cr Paul Spooner after the launch last week of the new surf safety signs being erected along many of the shire's beaches. Photo supplied
Byron surfing identity Max Pendergast, right, with Cr Paul Spooner after the launch last week of the new surf safety signs being erected along many of the shire’s beaches. Photo supplied

Vandals have torn down one of the first of 40 new surf safety signs being erected along at Byron shire’s beaches only days after it was installed, much to the disgust of a local surfing identity who helped design them.

Max Pendergast, who based the design to better inform overseas visitors to the dangers of the local surf, expressed his disgust on his Facebook page after one of the signs he helped instal was ripped out of the ground on Friday.

‘What sort of people is this town attracting?’ Mr Pendergast wrote after discovering during his beach walk this morning (Wednesday) that ‘some brainless turkey’ had decided to smash the sign.

Byron Shire Council says the signs were based on a simple diagram designed by children during a surf safety program, showing a rip and arrows directing people to swim with the current or away and not against it.

Council praised Mr Pendergast’s efforts when the signs were launched, saying he ‘has a passion for the ocean and education, a connection that has evolved into a dedication for surf safety and passing on that knowledge’.

But the surfer was dismayed and discouraged by the vandalism, saying he’d been ‘quite excited to see some results of my efforts but now honestly I don’t think I’ll bother anymore’.

He had targeted his design especially for non-English speaking tourists who can’t read the warnings on existing signs.

Speaking after the launch, Mr Pendergast said ’with visitors arriving daily, many from overseas, the challenge was to design a sign that did not over rely on the English written word’.

‘For many international visitors, the power of our ocean can come as a surprise and have tragic consequences,’ he said.

‘If we can educate and save lives, it’s a good outcome.’

The new surf safety signs came about after Cr Paul Spooner moved at a meeting last year for council to erect them, and he was given unanimous support.

Cr Spooner urged all residents to stop by the signs when visiting the beach, especially if they had overseas visitors.

‘While we have a great professional surf life saving service that has incredible volunteer support, the more every person can learn about the surf, the better it would be,’ he said.

Byron Shire Council provides surf life saving services that includes two life guards at each beach.

But Cr Spooner noted that 
t‘The only exception was beaches that were managed by National Parks at Broken Head, Tallow, The Pass and Wategos, which only had one life guard at each location’.

‘Despite requests for extra funding from National Parks, we’ve not yet been successful,’ he said.

‘Similarly, with the growing popularity of Brunswick Heads, it would be great to see additional life guard services provided for a longer period of time.

‘While we’ve approached North Coast Holiday Parks for additional funding support for the service, the answer has been no.’

His suggestion was timely, given that a 27-year-old tourist drowned at Brunswick Heads this month after lifeguards had finished patrol. Other tourists have also drowned in the shire’s northern beaches in recent years.).


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. What would you expect from all the people that sleep on and party to all hours of the day & night. If the town was policed correctly this would not happen also with people drinking and sleeping in shop fronts there just delight is free parking on the streets to camp and cause trouble of a night. It about time the police, and council did some night patrols and see what happens on the streets. Maybe the Mayor could live on the street for a night to see how much damage they do and stench they leave behind when they leave.

  2. This signed was not designed by kids or mr pendergast
    It is a flawed publication of surf lifesaving which could very well lead to drowning with those incorrect messages which are inconsistent with experts advise on surviving rips and that of the NSW water safety divisors council
    Maybe the culprit has done everyone I favour

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Growing number of dogs

Thanks to Alison Drover for her informative article in last week’s Echo regarding the growing number of dogs in the Shire to be managed...

Responsible dog owner

I read with interest Alison Drover’s article on dog management and the follow up letters last week, and I couldn’t agree more. I am indifferent...

Dogs need control

I agree with Alison Drover’s recent article and her final line ‘wildlife needs more love, and our dog owners need a tighter lead’. But the...

COVID update December 3: One new case and advice for international travellers

One new case of COVID-19 was reported for Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 2 December. Northern NSW Local...