Lifeguard Stations to be Upgraded

It was intended  to happen last year but with the high water it was postponed.  But now, the fifteen year old icons of the Cobourg Beach will be replaced with new units with improved portability, ergonomics and safety. They will also include storage for items like paddle boards and volleyball nets. Sa.wat.ski Concept Reality (SCR) was contracted to design the stations for $3,200 and at their meeting on Monday, Council was informed that two units would be built by SCR at a cost of $24,200 plus HST. The other two will hopefully be replaced in 2019.  As part of the design process, YMCA (they provide the lifeguards), the Chief Building Official and the Cobourg Heritage Committee reviewed the design.  The Heritage Committee approved the design with the condition that “each tower shall be painted a separate colour, to be selected by staff, from the Heritage Colour Palette”.

Payment will come from two sources:

  1. $12,000 allocated for this in the 2017 budget but deferred;
  2. Since the Waterfront User Needs Assessment and Detailed Design Plan will not require the total budget of $145,000, surplus funds will be available and will be used for this project.

In response to a question, Director Dean Hustwick said that it is hoped that the new stations would be ready for use by the Canada Day weekend.

Images below show one of the existing stations and a drawing of the new ones planned.

One of Cobourg's current Lifeguard stations
One of Cobourg’s current Lifeguard stations
Planned Lifeguard station
Planned Lifeguard station

 

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cornbread

This site is becoming the Wally/Walter Show. Hey guys, go do something else, you need a change in life.

Tim

I knew a child who drown in the lake on a sunny afternoon before they had lifeguard chairs so I find all the frivolous comments by Walter and Wally objectionable. Ralph Torrie, who is the only one on this blog with lifeguard training, has taken the time to patiently explain why the design of these new kiosk-like lifeguard stations cum storage facilities is wrong and he’s met with derision. Since it is crucial that lifeguards keep their eyes focussed on the person in distress and that is not possible to do while exiting one of these new stations, they should never be built.

Durka

You continue to completely ignore the point of the proposed stations being used world-wide, popular more-so, than what we currently have.

Walter L. Luedtke

LOL
Check this out Tim!
https://miamibeachadvisor.com/life-guard-stations/
Same or similar design all over, and some really funky ones.

Miriam Mutton

Cool art work, the Miami stations. And, those stations seem to be big enough to accommodate several staff at the same time.

Two issues I see with the proposed Cobourg design. First, how can security patrol see if anyone is hiding there after dark without walking to each station? The current design is fairly open. Second, why is storing stuff underneath the station desirable? Why not carry rescue equipment with staff manning the station? Why leave rescue equipment unattended at any time? Even the Miami samples seem open underneath.

Tim

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But we have a Council that is hellbent on spending money on unnecessary projects. $3,200 to design this inadequate lifeguard station/storage unit and $24,200 plus HST to build two of them? These are ridiculous amounts. A good local carpenter could build them for a fraction of that price.They’ll end up as the go-to place for vandalism, shooting up drugs and having sex — compliments of the Town of Cobourg.

Bill Thompson

Just leave them as is but do the maintenance on them asthetically. They’ve been effective for years so let’s just save the money for something that really needs attention.
This isn’t Coney Island (yet) and shouldn’t ever become it.

Tim

The best comment yet.
In a few years our beach will have gone from a place of natural beauty to a place that is cheap, gaudy and potentially dangerous.

Tim

I have checked it out and I’m not impressed. Miami beach is many miles long. We have a small beach that was, at one time and for many years, a raw and beautiful natural gem and to further ruin it with four large constructions that will impair rather than improve the job of lifeguards is insane. People could die, but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone.

Ralph Torrie

My comments have only been about whether the new stands will improve or diminish the lifeguard’s ability to do their job. I think I would open up the front, bring it right to the front edge of the platform, with no railings or anything else between the lifeguard’s eyes and the water, and put the stairs at the back. The lifeguard can jump from their position at the front if need be.

Aesthetically, to me they seem overdesigned for our little beach, but with attractive paint jobs we will get used to them I suppose.

The article says the YMCA were consulted in the design — it would be good to hear from them on how these new stands will affect response effectiveness.

Frenchy

Maybe we could get Pamela and David here to christen them on July 1st.

Wally Keeler

Insofar as the inflated concern about the precious second or two or three for a lifeguard to descend to the sand, the solution would be to place the lifeguard stations in the water at the water’s edge. Put the station closer to the drowning victims rather than yards and yards back. No necessity to run on sand to the water’s edge through a gauntlet of beach enthusiasts.

In any event, lifeguards are physically fit. I doubt that they would be so dainty as to descend the station step by step. That’s something geriatric grumps would do. Physically fit lifeguards would jump the five steps.

No one in their right mind would want a lifeguard station that merges into sky and sand.

I’d prefer playground colours rather than the official palette. The lifeguard will have betterlter from the bright sun. And the storage room to boot. Worthy project.

Ralph Torrie

The concern is not so much with lost time as with momentary lost line of sight. When a drowning victim goes under it happens quickly, and if you are not focused on their location when it happens, their location and rescue becomes much more difficult.

Wally Keeler

Exactly, move the stations into the water at the edge.

Ralph Torrie

No, not exactly. No matter where the stand is located, one would want a design that does not require turning one’s eyes away from the drowning person while exiting the hut. Also, given the shape of our beach, I am sure the stands offer a better perspective when positioned back from the water’s edge, as they almost always are at other beaches. Also, as wooden structures, they would not fare well in the water, so moving them into the water would either mean replacing them frequently or building them with plastic or aluminum or some other rust-proof material. And even then, there are winters when the ice would destroy them.

Walter L. Luedtke

LOL!
With the water being so shallow quite far out and no sharks in Lake Ontario, could it be that the life guards are mainly for show?

Ewok

Great design! A quick google scan of the most popular beaches in the world shows that this is the preferred design concept. I only wish the design and construction were awarded to a local company.

Wally Keeler

Do you know a local company that could do this?

CiW

I’m sure the building construction class at CCI could build these structures. We’re they approached?

Wally Keeler

ask them and find out.

CiW

Can any of the materials from the old stations be re-purposed in the new ones?

Fact Checker

In several prior comments you stated that you will be running for Mayor in the upcoming Cobourg municipal election.
When can we expect to see the official announcement of your candidacy?

Ewok

FC – working through the process now. As previously discussed in this forum, running for an elected role in Cobourg can be problematic if you are otherwise gainfully employed. The meeting schedule does not necessarily support non-retired professionals who work outside of the boundaries of our wonderful community. I have a few considerations before submitting my paperwork. Cheers and thank you for asking.

Fact Checker

As Mayor, you should not have too much problem changing the council meeting time back to 7pm.
Go for it.
Cobourg NEEDS you

Gayle Carver

Regarding the new stands…it only takes one person to walk up those stairs and ask the lifeguard a question, which will take his eyes off the possible danger for others. No one should be climbing anywhere near a lifeguard station. Lifeguards can answer questions from the top of the old model and still keep his or hers eyes on the job at hand.

Tim

An extremely important point.

Walter L. Luedtke

Here is a portfolio of Sa.wat.ski Concept Reality (SCR) projects.
https://www.sawatskiconceptreality.com/
These folks obviously know boo-all about design.
Cobourg would be much better off to use some local, retired know-it-alls.
Maybe the CTA could help with some volunteers who want to get out of the house.

Wally Keeler

Or they could employ Critical Mass, a group of Port Hope artsies that engage the entire community. https://criticalmassart.com/about/ Cobourg suffers from a dearth of imagination. Insofar as the CTA is concerned, I have yet to see a member display any imagination whatsoever. More about this recent installation of imagination. https://www.northumberlandnews.com/whatson-story/8655559-something-fishy-is-happening-in-port-hope/#.Wx1bACOuLuR.facebook

Durka

These babies have potential to become quite iconic on our beach. I like the idea of playfully painting them different colours. Further to that I feel like our lifeguards will be better protected from the elements, as well as the using them for storage is brilliant.

As I mentioned in another post this style lifeguard station seems to be preffered on some of the busiest beaches in the world so I’m inclined to call them effective.

Carol

At the risk of being a little protective since we paid for the design could we not have had local people take advantage of the 24,000 to build these.

Walter L. Luedtke

Some local folks work at GM in Oshawa.
Maybe GM should only hire local workers?

Bill Thompson

It appears that the emphasis with the new huts is more on storing gear volleyball nets/paddle boards than the life guard function itself.
The lifeguard’s line of sight is definitely compromised with the design where the present stands are fully open.
I would think that the “surplus funds” could be used for a more useful purpose rather than something that sits vacant most of the year.

DurkA

I find this statement somewhat contradictory. You both state it sits vacant most of the time and then criticize adding a multi-use element.

Btw lifeguard stations like the one being proposed are used on some of the busiest, most famous beaches in the world. It’s not like this is some one-off design that had no thought put into it.

Are_N

I actually like the design. But I’d prefer to see a ramp instead of stairs to reduce the risk of a fall going down.

And having a ramp would also allow for persons with accessibility issues to be gainfully employed as lifeguards. 🙂

Ralph Torrie

My lifeguard training is decades ago but a cardinal rule was, Don’t take your eyes off the person in distress, not even for a second. We were taught to swim with our head up and eyes forward just for this purpose. With the existing stands the lifeguard can jump from their seat and start running toward the water, all the time focussed on their target. With these proposed booths, it looks like they will have to break their line of sight with a victim in distress in order to exit the booth.

Frenchy

Hopefully they might add a little comfort and protection for the poor souls who have to spend long sweltering days up there.
As for the colour scheme, I suggest painting them all the same colour to serve as an icon for quick identification of safety. Something like you see with a red cross for hospital/medic sites. Maybe even a shocking neon colour like our Northumberland County EMS vehicles., rather than some dull heritage colour.
You know, so we don’t confuse them with a taco stand, kiosk or ticket booth for the waterfront park in an emergency.
Bright colours seem to work OK with sea/beachscapes.

Tim

Bad design! The old ones are fit for purpose, infinitely more beautiful and at least attempt to merge with the sand and the sky. The new ones are clunky, and will be sweltering inside (unless they’re air-conditioned), and it’s obvious that the lifeguards will have less visibility. If someone is drowning, it’s insane that a lifeguard has to spend extra seconds opening a door and descending a staircase.
The Heritage Committee approved the design with the condition that “each tower shall be painted a separate colour, to be selected by staff, from the Heritage Colour Palette”. To quote Dickens: “I shall retire to Bedlam” — or Bethlam as it’s known today. Perhaps the Heritage Committee should take as much interest in the colours of the Water Park.

Walter L. Luedtke

Is that Andrew Scott Dickens, 10-year member of the National Swimming Team, whom you are quoting?
He has retired from swimming, but I could not find anything about his going to the Bethlem Royal Hospital in London.
And what does all that have to do with the colours of the new lifeguard station?

Tim

You’ve got the right hospital but the wrong Dickens. I’m quoting Charles and it has everything to do with the colours of the lifeguard station. It’s insane to be concerned with pastel colours on a beach when the priory is the identification of a lifeguard station. As Frenchy points out, they look more like a kiosk, food stand or ticket booth.
The lifeguard should be visible to everyone on the beach and they clearly will not be when they’re tucked away in this tiny house.

Wally Keeler

“I shall retire to Bedlam” is a quote of Alastair Sim, not Dickens.

Tim

OK, so Dickens actually said “I’ll retire to Bedlam”

Wally Keeler

Alastair Sims is quoted, not Dickens. Dickens wrote Christmas Carol in which Alastair Sims was quoted as saying, “I’ll retire to Bedlam.”

Tim

Thank you for clearing that up for everyone. It’s — or such it say it is — a very important point.
In that case, for the sake of accuracy and for your information alone, it is “A Christmas Carol” not “Christmas Carol”.

Wally Keeler

I didn’t clear it up for everyone, just for you, since you were the only one confused.

Tim

In that case, for the sake of accuracy and for your information alone, it is “A Christmas Carol” not “Christmas Carol”.

Walter L. Luedtke

Hmmmm.
Tim, if you feel that the entire Heritage Committee has mental health issues, shouldn’t all of Cobourg be worried?

Tim

Yes, we should.

Ralph Torrie

Humbug! Sims was an actor reading a line. If one wants to attribute the quote to other than Dickens, it should be to Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Wally Keeler

“The old ones are fit for purpose, infinitely more beautiful and at least attempt to merge with the sand and the sky.”

Referring to the current lifeguard stands, Tim doesn’t claim that they are just more beautiful, but that they are INFINITELY more beautiful. What kind of blubber is that? Infinitely? Infinite beauty? LOL.

Tim claims that the current lifeguard stands attempt to merge with the sand and sky.

Merge? Miriam Webster’s Dictionary defines merge “to cause to combine, unite, or coalesce, to blend gradually by stages that blur distinctions.” Really? You believe that the current lifeguard stands attempt to blur distinctions? Hopefully they fail, and remain distinctly visible against the sky and sand.