Sunderland pool to be fitted with life-saving system to detect swimmers drowning

Sunderland’s Olympic-sized pool is being fitted with a system which will raise the alarm if any swimmers begin to drown.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 8:00 am
Equipment is being installed at Sunderland Aquatic Centre to alert lifeguards if someone could be drowning.

The Aquatic Centre is introducing the kit, which will use cameras to monitor the pool and detect any lack of movement in the water.

If anyone gets into difficulty, it alerts the lifeguards, who can then go to their rescue.

To train up staff on the Poolview Plus+ technology, the pool will be closed on Tuesday, December 17, from 9am to 4pm, with the rest of the venue’s facilities to remain open.

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The centre's pool will be closed to swimmers on Tuesday, December 17, while the staff are trained up to use the new drowning detection system.

The system will then go live from Monday, January 6.

A spokesperson for Everyone Active, which runs Wearside’s leisure centres on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “Drowning detection systems are now widely used in leisure facilities across the UK.

“They support the work of our lifeguards by providing enhanced visibility of the pool, and can help to combat natural factors that can impede their view, such as glare and reflection.

“We want all customers to feel safe and secure when using our centre.

“The data is being recorded solely for the purpose of enhancing public safety and is subject to strict data-protection laws.

“The footage and images are stored securely and deleted after seven days.”

The company has said the number of lifeguards on duty at any one time will still be determined by visibility tests, what activities are taking place and number of people in the pool

The additional visibility the system allows is also taken into account, and the team say it means it will not always be necessary to have a second or third lifeguard by the pool.

The footage will only able to be viewed in real-time by the lifeguards through a monitor on a pool-side chair.

Access to the recorded images is restricted to senior managers, who would only review the footage in the case of an incident.

It says these colleagues are trained in data protection policies and attend seminars every six months to ensure they understand and adhere to data protection laws.

Everyone Active has put together a series of questions and answers about the system, which can be found by visiting www.everyoneactive.com/faqs/.