South East Wales

Porthcawl lifeboat launch hotspot gets safety camera

Porthcawl pier Image copyright RNLI
Image caption The view from the camera installed on Porthcawl pier to monitor sea conditions

One of Wales' busiest lifeboat callout hotspots has had a monitoring camera installed to warn the public of dangerous sea conditions.

It is hoped the RNLI camera will reduce the number of launches at Porthcawl, in Bridgend county, which had the second highest number for Wales in 2015.

The camera looks out towards the town's pier from the lifeboat station.

The location is also notorious for crashing waves that can risk sweeping people out to sea.

Ian Stroud from Porthcawl RNLI is their former deputy launch authoriser.

He said: "One of the most significant tasks a lifeboat station must undertake is observing sea conditions to make judgements on the equipment lifeboat operators will need.

"We wanted a view of the pier as it is such an important landmark. This is viewable by members of the public, who can alert the lifeboat station if they see someone in distress."

Image copyright Getty Images

The camera was supplied by Swansea-based PC-1 and Axis Communications.

PC-1's online project manager Graham Thomas said: "We installed a weather station and connected the installation to YouTube, allowing the public and lifeboat staff to view real-time images and accurate weather reports - including tide times.

"The station will soon receive a superfast fibre connection, allowing for a further upgrade of the system to take full advantage of the camera's HD capabilities.

"We can then look at running an additional camera; one looking at the pier and another focusing on the coastal defence where waves crash up to 300 feet in the air."

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