Porthcawl Coastline CCTV Case Study
The Porthcawl coastline is an extremely popular destination for tourists and water sport enthusiasts.
With a peak of footfall in the Summer months from May to the end of September, there are 6 beaches all lying within the Bridgend County Council boundaries.
During peak time the main beaches are patrolled by RNLI Lifeguards but Newton Bay has no full-time lifeguard cover throughout the year.
Following a consultation process with several experts in various local rescue bodies and water sport related business groups, a proposal was put forward to set up two remote camera’s sited at Newton Bay and Rest bay. These would be controlled and monitored from the NCI station giving them the ability to monitor areas otherwise not visible.
CDS had been delivering security solutions for Bridgend County Council over several years and were asked to manage and deliver the new coastal CCTV cameras project.
Working in collaboration with Bridgend County Borough Council and the NCI, CDS installed three Pan Tilt and Zoom camera’s (PTZ) * 45 magnification at Rest Bay, Sandy Bay & Newton Bay which are controlled from a desktop control unit at the NCI Station.
The Rest Bay Camera is positioned on the front of the Lifeguard Building at Rest Bay. The Sandy Bay Camera is positioned on the front of the Lifeguard Building at Sandy Bay. The Newton Bay Camera is positioned on the front of the Park Dean Caravan Park Maintenance workshops facing towards Newton Bay.
Each camera has a separate monitor which is sited at the NCI station.
The cameras will be used by the NCI team on a constant basis during normal operational hours as a means to increase visual capability or to view areas out of normal visual station range. Both cameras have the capability to operate in the dark with a limited range of 300 metres, however they can operate quite well in moon light.
In addition CDS and Blue-Sky Solutions designed and developed the NCI website which is now being used by HM Coastguard Operations Centre Milford Haven.
The system has proved extremely useful both during the busy summer season and in the winter when the seas are more treacherous, and a close eye needs to be kept on stormy conditions.
The CCTV installation and website have proved invaluable to the NCI who have confirmed that it has saved lives and due to its success, CDS have been approached by the St Albans Head NCI to design a similar system at the Isle of Purbeck.
WHAT THE CLIENT THOUGHT
This week Bristow Search & Rescue Helicopters St Athan have started to link into the web site to help them with understanding local sea conditions. Also we carried out a training exercise with them off the Pier head and provided them with video footage from the Sandy Bay camera.
Last year we were the busiest NCI station in the UK for incidents a total of 85 , 50% of the incidents coming from requests from the Coastguard to provide camera visual.
Its all moving in a very positive direction and here it comes BUT
All this positive movement means that the system is becoming critical to the Search and rescue community.
The cameras are like lifeboats they need to be available at all times along with the operating equipment and website.
They are helping to save lives at sea.
PHILLIP STYLES - STATION MANAGER
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