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Porthcawl’s RNLI station improves public safety with network camera technology
Safety and security improved through enhanced vision and image quality from Axis Communications and PC1
“Tourism is a huge pull to the area. Not only do we see a huge number of people visit during the summer months, but we also have a large number of swimmers in the area, often without a marker float behind them. One of the fantastic things about this camera is the extra education it can provide – it helps people stay safer in the water, which means the lifeboats aren’t called out.” Ian Stroud, retired Deputy Launch Authority and current Press Officer at Porthcawl RNLI.
Porthcawl, Wales, boasts the second highest tidal rise and fall in the world and experienced among the highest rates of lifeboat callouts in the UK in 2015. With tides reaching speeds of up to 7 knots (8 mph), there are significant dangers in the area not present in other UK regions. With such an active sea, combined with high tourism levels, Porthcawl’s RNLI station wanted to improve the safety and security of visitors, while increasing the efficiency of life-saving operations.
Through the installation of an AXIS Q1775-E Fixed Network Camera on the lifeboat station, combined with a high-tech weather station, the Porthcawl RNLI station gained access to cutting-edge technology, providing easy access to weather metrics, tide activity, conditions monitoring and more. A publicly accessible live-stream of seafront conditions, available to view online, allows those considering a visit to the area to monitor weather, supporting Porthcawl’s tourism drive. With a 10x optical zoom and autofocus capabilities, the RNLI decided the AXIS Q1775-E was the stand-out choice due to its weather resilience, providing 24/7 surveillance capabilities and excellent image quality, day and night.
In addition to assisting with visitor and staff safety through further education on sea conditions and associated risks, the camera can provide cost savings above and beyond the initial cost of installation. With a minimum cost of a lifeboat launch estimated at £2,000, and 73 launches recorded in Porthcawl last year, this translates to an expenditure of at least £146,000. By further educating the public on the dangers of the sea and potentially preventing the need for just two launches, the total cost of installation would already be covered, ensuring the safety of both crew and public.