Beach Project is 10 Years Old
November 12, 2018
Our Beach Safety Project is celebrating 10 Years in the making!
In Dec 2008
Hout Bay SAPS asked HBNW to assist with beach safety as they did not have the manpower to patrol the beach area. With many visitors and residents spending time on the beach over the holiday period they wanted to ensure it was a safe place to be.
Each HBNW block was allocated a section of the beach, called an OP or Observation Post. Block 6 (Scott Estate, Baviaanskloof, Tierboskloof, Penzance and BergenDal) was allocated the area in front of Dunes restaurant and got going first, with the project managed by Fanie Malan, Area Leader for Scott Estate. At this stage it was decided to concentrate on one OP and invite members from all HBNW areas to put their names down for these time slots.
The Block 6 gazebo was put up every morning at the foot of the dune nearest the sea, between Dunes Restaurant and the lagoon, and taken down after the last shift. All equipment was stored overnight at Dunes, who therefore qualify as our very first supporter of the Beach Safety project! And one of our early Thank You events was sponsored by Massimo's, who provided the pizzas for the patrollers who attended. Something they repeated last year, when they used their "Pay It Forward" pizzas to host an event to thank the 2017/2018 patrollers for their efforts.
The following two years (2009/2010 and 2010/2011)
the project was run by Jan Vonk, Block 6 leader, and then in 2011/2012 Robert Herbertson and Tammy Matthysen took over the running of the project, working as a team, with Robert doing the administrative work and Tammy overseeing the patrollers on the beach. This teamwork continued for a few years with great success.
the project was run under the CPF banner by Joanne Chemaly.
HBNW battled to find a project manager, but since 2016/2017, with Tammy in charge, and some willing assistants such as Debbie Spowart, Liezl Schulte and Heather Saunders, the project has gone from strength to strength.
This year Tammy and Heather also coordinated a short but successful winter beach safety project, in response to a spike in muggings on the beach.
Over the years many generous Hout Bay businesses have sponsored handouts for the patrollers as well as vouchers and other prizes for the patrollers who complete the most patrols over the season.
In the 10 years since the project started there have been virtually no security issues on the beach during the patrol hours. And with the support of the City (there are now Lifeguards on duty over the holiday season and Law Enforcement officers on patrol) as well as assistance from our Hout Bay safety and security organisations, this project is now definitely part and parcel of our Hout Bay summer holiday season.