New Emergency Response Beacons to help save lives in the Hunter

Jihad Dib

Minister for Emergency Services

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government

Minister for Youth Justice


Yasmin Catley

Minister for the Hunter


New Emergency Response Beacons to help save lives in the Hunter


The NSW Government is investing in new Emergency Response Beacons (ERB) for the Hunter coast, with beacons set to be installed at Moonee and Frazer Park beaches by the end of the year.


The new emergency response infrastructure comes after the Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib convened a roundtable on coastal safety earlier this month, in response to an increase in coastal drownings in recent years.


ERBs directly connect callers to Surf Life Saving NSW’s State Operations Centre, enabling the rapid deployment of lifesaving and emergency services to a potential rescue site. This can drastically reduce response times, particularly in unpatrolled or isolated areas.


At least 10 ERBs will be installed in high-risk locations along the NSW coastline by the end of the year, with a total of 32 to be rolled out over the next four years as part of the NSW Government’s record $23 million additional investment in Surf Life Saving NSW.


As part of this funding, the NSW Government is also delivering 67 jet skis over four years, with 14 already deployed to NSW beaches. Jet skis are highly manoeuvrable and can easily be deployed to perform rescues.


The roundtable held in early March considered the latest data on high risk drowning locations along the state’s coastline, with the locations of the new ERBs based on this data, rescue statistics and consultation with key stakeholders.


Addressing the number of coastal deaths in unpatrolled and isolated locations is a priority for the NSW Government, along with reaching more communities with important water safety messages. Discussions at the roundtable highlighted concerns about whether these messages are well understood by all beachgoers.


Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said:

“Emergency Response Beacons are already being used successfully in coastal locations, including at Forster this summer when a beacon was instrumental in supporting the rescue of individuals caught in a rip current.”


“The evidence is clear – this technology works, and we know it will make a key contribution to preventing drownings on our coastline.”


“The beacons use technology that overcomes connectivity limitations, or ‘black spots’, in remote areas, providing a reliable option in an emergency.”


“A day at the beach shouldn’t turn into a disaster, and this is one of several measures the NSW Government is taking to help ensure more people get home safely.”


Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said:

“ERBs are already helping people call for help immediately, regardless of mobile reception.”


“It’s all about using technology to improve how we respond to incidents and, in the end, save lives along the coast. Frazer Park and Moonee Beach are ideal places to have them.”


 “Too many lives have been lost on the Swansea coast and too many locals have to live with that.”


 “Enjoying the water is the lifestyle here and the NSW Government is backing our surf lifesavers with the best equipment.”