An independent assessment of options for improving the netting at the Tuncurry Rock Pool has been sought by MidCoast Council.
This follows potential safety concerns raised by a member of the community at the July meeting of council.
Resident, Graham Burns expressed his concerns that swimmers are at risk of being washed over the net at the north-eastern corner of the Tuncurry Rock Pool into the channel during a strong current.
“Tourists come to the area in the summer and the Rock Pool is promoted as a safe swimming facility,” Mr Burns said.
“It may generally be safe, but there is a dark side with the outgoing tides in the north-eastern corner where the safety net meets the old brick wall.
“The current is so strong you will likely get swept over the net. There are many examples of this, and luckily there has always been a rescuer.”
Mr Burns cited a number of reported incidents from previous years, where unsuspecting swimmers had been swept into trouble while swimming at the Rock Pool. He said the problem was magnified by a deep hole where the net met the wall.
“One day the luck will run out and a tragedy will occur,” he added.
“This isn’t a new problem, it’s been there for years and all council has done is put up some warning signs.”
Mr Burns went on to state he had put forward a list of three possible solutions to the problem council in May, but said there had been no acknowledgement of his submission.
Following the meeting, council’s director of community spaces and services, Paul De Szell met with Mr Burns on site to discuss the issue.
“While we acknowledge Mr Burns’ concerns, we would like to assure the community we do take the matter seriously and have been working with coastal engineering specialists to look at the options for the area,” he said.
The location of the Rock Pool and the tidal nature of the lake does mean the area is subject to currents and tidal surges and swimmers do need to take caution.
Signs are erected at the Rock Pool to warn swimmers of the inherent dangers.
Mr De Szell said specialist firm Manly Hydraulics have been commissioned to identify options for the site.
“Once this report is reviewed, options will be presented to a future meeting of council for consideration.”
The net separating the swimming area from the main channel has buoys located every 1.5 metres to provide an extra barrier to swimmers who may be caught out by the changing conditions.