A giant new inflatable will make a big splash with local kids at Beresfield Swimming Centre when the 2018/19 beach and pool season opens tomorrow.
Lucky first-movers Felix, 11, and Parker Carlisle, 9, today test bounced the 12-metre-long 'Mighty Medley" inflatable, which was delivered by the City of Newcastle along with additional shading and seating at the Beresfield pool.
The new inflatable was a hit with Felix (rear) and Parker today.
The upgrades follow the extension of opening hours announced by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes last year.
"The new additions are designed to make the pool a better place for kids to play and for families to relax in summer," the Lord Mayor said.
"Given the distance from our western suburbs like Beresfield and Tarro to the beaches and ocean baths, as well as substantial growth in the use of the pool, we’re thrilled to be able to provide increased community access at the lowest admission cost of any swim centre right across the City of Newcastle*."
On the beaches, the City's professional lifeguards return to patrols equipped with a new high-powered, light-weight jet ski.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes on the ski with decorated lifeguard Paul Bernard.
Based at the relatively protected Nobbys Beach, where lifeguards patrol year-round, the jet ski will act as a 'guardian angel' between Stockton Bight and Merewether Beach.
Yesterday Nobbys lifeguards Ian Gordon and Scott Hammerton made quick use of the speedy water craft to save a man swept off rocks behind the Bogey Hole.
Cr Nelmes discussing the Bogey Hole rescue with lifeguard Ian Gordon.
"This bloke was really lucky," Hammerton said. "He was swept into the water while rock fishing and was in about a 2m swell.
"Ian was in the water training, already in his wet suit, and I took the jet ski out to him when the call came in. He hopped on and was over to the Bogey Hole about 2-3 minutes after the call came in from the Westpac Helicopter.
"That's just one example of how having the jet ski helps us be more flexible and responsive. We use it for shark sightings, mass rescues, in large surf when the rescue board is not adequate, when boats are in distress close to shore, to assist the Westpac when they need back-up, and on busy days just keeping it in the water to patrol the flagged area. So it's a bit of a guardian angel really."
Also tomorrow, Hunter Surf Lifesaving (HSLS) will mark both the opening of the volunteer season with a Raising of the Flags and the 100th
Anniversary of Surf Life Saving in Newcastle.
The Lord Mayor will present HSLS with a cheque from the City for $60,000 in support of its services during the official season-opening ceremony at Nobbys at 8.30am.
"Hunter Surf Lifesaving is an iconic organisation and on behalf of the city and our citizens, I wish them a very happy 100th
Birthday," the Lord Mayor said.
“For 100 years, our iconic surf life savers have been protecting the lives of Novocastrians at our stunning beaches, and I thank them for their incredible service to the City.
"Whether assisting in patrolling our beaches on Sundays or running nippers programs to teach water safety and rescue techniques to our young children through to our teens and beyond, they provide invaluable services to our community."
*The cost of single admissions will remain the same at Beresfield ($2.80)