Lagoon observation tower modified to reduce impact

SLSWA says location of the Yanchep Lagoon observation tower was done in consultation with Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club and the City of Wanneroo. Picture: Anita McInnes

THE placing of the observation tower at Yanchep Lagoon has been queried but Surf Life Saving WA says it allows views of the beach and water from the southern end of Yanchep Lagoon through to the point at the northern end of Yanchep Beach.

A Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) spokeswoman said the observation tower provided elevation above the beachgoers, umbrellas, tents etc often seen on the beach, which obscured vision of the water.

“There are a variety of hazards within the Yanchep Lagoon-Beach area,’’ she said.

“Strong currents, shallow water, submerged objects, dumping waves, rips, drop offs and marine hazards.

“These hazards can negatively affect anyone, of any ability, at any time.

“Lifeguards and lifesavers manage this entire stretch and the varying conditions with a range of approaches including a flagged area, signage, roving patrols, public engagement, etc.

“We strongly encourage people to swim between the flags but our lifesavers regularly need to rely on the mantra of ‘if we can’t see you, we can’t save you’.’’

The spokeswoman said a variety of locations were reviewed in consultation with Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club and the City of Wanneroo.

“The location was determined in consultation with the City of Wanneroo as being most suitable to maximise the vantage point from the elevated platform to the north as well as onto the reef, consideration for tidal movements and erosion, consideration for land use limitations as well as an area that minimised impact on beach real estate,’’ she said.

“The tower was modified with side access stairs to further reduce the impact.

“The City of Wanneroo is best positioned to advise on land access related queries.’’

On Thursday, November 28 she said SLSWA had not been contacted by the Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association about concerns the observation tower was right in the middle of the beach.

At its October meeting Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association members also wanted to know if there had been any community consultation about where the observation tower was sited.

The SLSWA spokeswoman said visibility to the south of Yanchep Lagoon to Fisherman’s Hollow was most practicably achieved through roving patrols by foot or on water using an inflatable rescue boat.

She said SLSWA did not currently operate drone patrol at Yanchep Lagoon.