New safety tubes for beach rescue

Article image - New safety tubes for beach rescue TUI improve safety when swimming outside the flags

Randwick City, New South Wales, is the first council in Australia to install rescue tube units on all its beaches.

The Tube Unit Initiative (TUI) is a system designed to be used as a rescue device to prevent drownings during times a beach is not patrolled by Council lifeguards.

Their introduction comes following the tragic death of 14-year-old Tui Gallaher in December 2016, who was swimming at Maroubra Beach with his cousin outside of patrol hours.

The pair got into trouble in the rough conditions before a passer-by came to their aid, pulling the cousin to safety.

Tui’s body was found three days later.

The TUI, named in a tribute to Tui Gallaher, consists of a rescue tube stationed close to the water’s edge fitted with light, whistle and branded with instructions. When the tube is removed from its housing station on the beach, an alarm sounds, alerting those nearby to the situation, and sends an SMS Alert and GPS location to the local lifeguards and life savers.

Whilst life rings have been used on a global scale for many years to help those in trouble, they are often ineffective in beach conditions due to their size and limited distance of deployment.

Mayor Lindsay Shurey said, “We are blessed with many beautiful beaches in Randwick City, and keeping visitors and beachgoers safe is a top priority for Council.

“The innovative design of the TUI means it can assist multiple adults at one time whilst also raising the alarm to those in the vicinity through the alarm and the presence of a whistle.

Six TUI tubes have been installed with more to be rolled out at all Randwick City beaches.