Bruce Steer and Blue Pools damaged after June storm

Bermagui residents are concerned about safety in Bruce Steer Pool after its shark net broke during last month’s storms.

The possibility of a shark attack is not the main issue for Joe Thomson, Ursula Ludwig, Mark Hunter and Owen Rowe, as they are more worried a strong surge could pull a swimmer out to sea now there is no net to save them. 

“You get surges from heavy seas,” Mr Rowe said. 

“A surge will come in and when it goes out you can’t swim against it so there is the possibility of children being sucked out to sea.”

In the past a swimmer caught in a surge could grab the net, but now it was down there was nothing stopping them being carried out into the ocean. 

While it appears the net could still be intact, the cable supporting it has broken so the net has sunk to the sea bed. 

Both Mr Rowe and Mr Thomson know from experience what it is like to have to grab the net after being caught in a surge, saying the surge came in quickly. 

As the beach at Bruce Steer is protected, it becomes very busy over summer and is popular with children and the elderly.

“It’s an asset to the town, a real asset,” Mr Rowe said. 

He said many elderly people cannot make it down the steep steps at the Blue Pool, so choose to go to Bruce Steer instead and he was worried they would also not be able to swim against a surge. 

The Blue Pool was also damaged in June’s storms. Part of the southern wall has broken away so the pool is about a foot shallower than normal.  

Bega Valley Shire Council leisure services manager John Grady said both the Bruce Steer shark net and damage to Blue Pool have been included in council’s reports of facilities damaged during the recent storms.

“We know there was a lot was a lot of damage and a lot of facilities affected as a result of the recent storms.

“After getting through a mountain of clean up, make safe works, and initial damage assessments we are now looking at assessing requirements for repairs and lodging applications for disaster relief funding,” he said.