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Porthcawl’s RNLI station seeks to improve education and safety around the water by using network surveillance CCTV. An installation at Porthcawl pier provides an online live-stream of conditions. This ensures tourist visitors are prepared for the conditions they will face. The aim; to minimise lifeboat launches and reduce overall costs.
By further educating the public and reducing the number of visitors during dangerous tide periods, the total cost of installation would be covered through the prevention of two launches – and better ensuring safety of the crew and public. RNLI statistics for 2015 show that 44.4 per cent of lifeboat launches in 2015 were due to persons in distress – either ashore, offshore, or with manual pleasure craft such as surfboards or kayaks.
The camera points at one of Porthcawl’s highest risk areas – the pier. During storms and rough weather, visitors are in danger of being swept out to sea by tides reaching up to 7 knots (8mph). The installation of the AXIS Q1775-E fixed network camera by Swansea-based PC1,means Porthcawl RNLI can provide access to weather metrics and tide activity. With 10x optical zoom and autofocus, the RNLI decided the Axis Communications camera was their choice due to its weather resilience, providing 24/7 surveillance and image quality, day and night.
Ian Stroud, retired Deputy Launch Authority at Porthcawl RNLI, says: “One of the most significant tasks a lifeboat station must undertake is observing sea conditions to make judgements on the equipment lifeboat operators will need. We wanted a view of the pier as it is such an important landmark. This is viewable by members of the public, who can alert the lifeboat station if they see someone in distress.”
And Graham Thomas, IT & Online Project Manager at PC1, says: “We installed a weather station and connected the installation to YouTube, allowing the public and lifeboat staff to view real-time images and accurate weather reports – including tide times. The station will soon receive a superfast fiber connection, allowing for a further upgrade of the system to take full advantage of the camera’s HD capabilities. We can then look at running an additional camera; one looking at the pier and another focusing on the coastal defence where waves crash up to 300 feet in the air.”
Watch the live stream from Porthcawl pier: http://www.porthcawl-lifeboat.co.uk/live-streaming/.