Happy ending to lifeguard tower saga

Builder Cole Carmichael from Proform Homes, with son Cory (11), take time out in their own holiday to repair the damage done by vandals to the Tay Street Lifeguard Tower. Photo: Chris Callinan.

After enduring two attacks by vandals, the Tay Street lifeguard tower in Mount Maunganui is back up and running, thanks to some generosity from a local builder.

Cole Carmichael of Proform Homes turned up yesterday and installed a new work bench to replace the one broken last week.

Surf Life Saving Eastern Region Lifesaving manager Leigh Sefton says Cole got in touch via Facebook.

“I shared the SunLive story on our Facebook page, and Cole made a comment that he'd love to come and fix it.”

Leigh says it was fantastic for Cole to do it, especially during his holiday break, and at his own cost in materials.

Cole says it was a pretty straightforward job.

“I went and met Leigh first, got all the measurements, bought the materials and made it in my workshop. The install was the easy part – it only took 30 or 40 minutes,” says Cole.

“When they were climbing through the window they put all their weight on the old benchtop, which snapped it in half. I've made this one out of 21mm ply, so it won't be breaking again.”

He had his 11 year-old son Cory helping him out too, which made the job easier.

“He works with me in the holidays, and gives me a hand when he can. He was a good help yesterday.”

He hopes that this it, and no one disrupts the tower anymore.

Leigh says the glass has also been repaired, and a second-hand ladder sourced.

“Initially we thought the ladder was missing. But it was broken in half, and half of it was buried, with the other half having been thrown through the window. It was completely wrecked.”

The tower is now fully functional again, though, and hopefully will stay that way.

As for the vandals, Leigh thinks he's nailed the description of them.

“They're brainless idiots. Now the story has gone far and wide, hopefully people will keep an eye on the tower and if they see anything suspicious, call the police.”


We need to find out...

Posted on 29-12-2016 20:08 | By GreertonBoy

What makes people want to vandalise things? What fun could it be? What satisfaction or feeling of achievement could be gotten from ruining something designed to save lives? It seems strange that a person would find that entertaining... when one of their friends or family, or a stranger, might die because of their vandalism? Since we probably cant stop people wanting to do this, maybe hidden motion/hunting cameras are the order of the day... or if the towers are on skids, drag them to a secure place when not in use? Shame on the fools who did this tho... When Karma bites you on the 'you know what' one day, don't come whining to us for your bad fortune. IMO, the perp(s)should grow a pair, hand himself in, and help fix these... wake up idiot(s)!


Posted on 29-12-2016 14:18 | By Tgaboy

Good on you Cole. Catch you at HPA in 2017.

Best Practice

Posted on 29-12-2016 12:59 | By Spy

In California their beaches have plenty of unattended lifeguard towers all pretty much made to a formula.Ladder removed when not in use, windows shuttered and locked, I am assured the vandalism is minimal.Perhaps we should look at their already workable design ? As what is to stop the numbnuts who did this damage returning to hone their skills another night ?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

What are your thoughts on the council’s proposal to increase rates 40 per cent over the next three years?

Good, it will help pay to revitilise the city
Not good, rates are high enough now
I’m ok with an increase, but maybe not such a big one

Bay Today

Penumbra on Sunday. Photo: Joan King.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz