Media statement - Lifebuoys installed at Port Noarlunga jetty

Published on 03 September 2019

The City of Onkaparinga has installed two lifebuoys at the Port Noarlunga jetty today to improve beach safety.

The lifebuoys will remain at the state government-owned jetty until new diver access stairs are installed at the seaward end of the jetty.

City of Onkaparinga CEO Mark Dowd said the council acted swiftly to improve safety along the jetty following an incident on the weekend where a young boy fell into the water.

“Floatation rings have been installed midway and towards the end of the jetty and under lights to make them clearly visible during the day and at night,” said Mr Dowd.

“There have been no floatation rings at the jetty for approximately 20 years as they were constantly vandalised and stolen. However, as an alternative safety measure, grab handles were installed on the pylons along the seaward half of the jetty for people to hold onto in the water if they found themselves in trouble.

“We ask people to respect the purpose of the floatation rings as emergency devices and ensure they remain in their intended locations.

“We were concerned to hear of the incident over the weekend and our thoughts are with the young boy, his family, the people who assisted and also people who witnessed it. We recognise this would have been a frightening experience for everyone involved and we wish them well.

“Port Noarlunga is a popular coastal area that’s enjoyed year-round by people of all ages and we’ll continue to work with the government, stakeholders and the community to ensure the jetty is a safe facility for all users.”

The lifebuoys complement the existing set of stairs positioned at the midpoint of the jetty, the grab handles mounted on pylons along the seaward half of the jetty, and structural cross beams which can also be used in emergency situations.

The new diver access stairs will also provide another entry and exit point and these will be installed as soon as the weather allows and when the required barge equipment is available.

The new stairs — which replace diving steps that were destroyed during a storm in November 2018 — are a substantial upgrade to the original diver access stairs. The new design will help with safe and efficient access to the water through an improved entry that allows fully-kitted divers to access the water and using lower platforms to allow multiple entry and exit points to the water at varying tide heights.

Contractors require consecutive days of perfect conditions to install the free-standing piles accurately.

Failure to drive the piles accurately would mean the stairs cannot be mounted to the piles and would cause further delays.

The City of Onkaparinga maintains the Port Noarlunga jetty under a lease agreement with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.