As summer begins and time spent on beaches and coastal waters increases, beach users are encouraged to familiarise with the Beach Emergency Number (BEN) signs installed at public beach access points along the South West coastline.The BEN system uses unique codes that link to coordinates of the sign’s location. This coding system is designed to ensure a safer experience for beach users by improving communication and response times in the case of emergency.
Unique sign codes pinpoint where help is needed so first responders can quickly and accurately find the incident site and how to get there. This information is essential to ambulance, police and fire crews when deployed in the event of a shark sighting or other beach emergency.
The South West region is home to 896 BEN signs located at surf spots, harbours, estuaries, boat ramps, fishing platforms, rivers and lakes. All signs are reversible and easily identifiable with a uniform red and green sign on the front and a beach closure alert on the back.
Spending time on the coastline is central to the lifestyle of our community and the ability to communicate with first responders is vital to successful outcomes. BEN signs are a valuable asset helping beach-goers and emergency services all year round.
How to use a BEN sign in an emergency
- Take note of the nearest BEN sign when visiting risky beach spots
- Dial triple zero and quote the unique code and location information on the nearest BEN sign
- Where possible, someone should wait at the BEN sign until emergency service crews arrive
- View BEN sign locations online via the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development interactive BEN signage map or the SharkSmartWA App which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Community members are encouraged to share this information widely so people can enjoy the beach and ocean with confidence over the peak summer period.
02 Dec 2022 Topic TypeShare this page
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